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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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June 16, 2011

Are Cell Phones Bad for Male Fertility?

By Mark Sisson
86 Comments

Ideally, the introduction of a novel stimulus to our environment would be preceded by rigorous safety studies conducted by independent researchers. Applied to industrial seed oils, wheat, running shoes, and office chairs, this protocol could have saved us a lot of pain and suffering. If you wait until way after the fact to wonder whether they might be bad for us – as we tend to do – these admittedly inexpensive/addictive/profit-reaping stimuli become entrenched. They become part of the culture. Wheat and soybeans? Much of the world depends on both or either, for food, livestock feed, and cooking oil. Most runners, walkers, and orthopedists think barefooting is suicidal, and you’ll pull something trying to pry chairs away from our tight, stiff hips.

Some would include the cell phone on that list of toxic stimuli deserving closer scrutiny. The cell phone certainly satisfies the “entrenchment” criterion. It has become ubiquitous. Everyone has cell phones – kids, teens, parents, grandparents – and home phones are becoming quaint things. I doubt any of my employees even have landlines anymore, for example. I’ve got one, but it’s rarely used. But is the cell phone really toxic? You’ve probably heard about the possible links between cell phone radiation and brain cancer, which I’ve discussed in the past. A recent report by the World Health Organization has reignited interest in the possibility of a cancer-phone connection, but, as I said in the earlier post, I’m just not that worried about brain cancer. It’s a rare disease, even if gabbing on the phone does increase your chance of developing it, and I’m not a big cell phone talker, anyway. So, does that take care of that? Are cell phones off the hook?

Perhaps not. It’s not as scary or headline-grabbing as brain cancer, but some researchers claim that exposure to electromagnetic waves from cell phones can negatively effect certain physiological barometers of male fertility, including sperm count (the more sperm per ejaculation, the greater the chance of impregnation), sperm motility (the ability of sperm to head in the direction of the egg determines their ability to fertilize), and morphology (physical structure of the sperm). I’d argue that reproductive health affects every male. Even if he never plans to reproduce, an adult male should have the capability to do so, because an inability indicates and even predicts future health problems. A fertile man is a healthy man.

Epidemiological

Cell phone use is at a historically unprecedented level, because, well, cell phones have only been readily available for around twenty years or so, and they’ve only become entrenched in the last decade (Zack Morris and Gordon Gekko-style phones don’t really count). I don’t think I have to provide a reference for that when a quick look around the coffee shop or bus or train (or freeway) will reveal a cell phone in every pocket, hand, or totally awesome hip-holster. Meanwhile, sperm counts have been steadily dropping for years, mostly in industrialized countries and especially in the United States. I indicted poor bone density and the influence of endocrine-disrupting chemicals in a previous post on male infertility, but I’m not opposed to the notion that stationing an electromagnetic wave-emitting device adjacent to one’s testicles for the better part of the day might negatively impact fertility. It’s not clear if sperm count has continued to drop through the last ten years, because we don’t have reliable, conclusive sperm count numbers from the last 2, 5, or even 10 years. For what it’s worth, Slate suggests poor male fertility might explain the drop in teen pregnancy rates.

Basically, cell phone usage is way up, most people keep them nestled next to their reproductive bits, but sperm counts had already been dropping for decades before cell phones entered the scene. We also don’t know if sperm counts have continued to drop in the past ten years (though most signs point to yes) and if they have, we can’t say that cell phones are the (or a) cause. The data simply isn’t available.

Animal Trials

Animal studies offer valuable avenues of insight into potential health risks. They allow researchers to test hypotheses generated from epidemiology, tease out cause and effect, and explore biological mechanisms, thus paving the way for further trials, sometimes involving humans. Also, it’s legal to bathe rabbit testicles in electromagnetic waves from cell phones to determine whether fertility is affected. Human males, not so much (though we often do it of our own volition). There have been many animal trials on the subject, so let’s look at a few of them:

Rabbits

Rabbits subjected to a normal 8-hours-in-your-pocket dose of cell phone electromagnetic waves showed lowered sperm count at six weeks (from 304 x 106/mL to 133 x 106/mL), impaired sperm motility at week ten, and a significant reduction in the diameter of the seminiferous tubules (the tubular structures in the testicles where sperm is manufactured; smaller diameter means lower output). Control rabbits displayed normal numbers across the board. As to whether this is relevant to humans, the seminiferous tubular diameters of infertile men are often smaller than in fertile men.

Cell phone-using rabbits displayed lower levels of fructose in their semen than control rabbits. We produce seminal fructose with androgen hormones, and a lack of it indicates poor seminal vesicle function. In humans, increasing seminal fructose levels improves sperm motility.

Rats

Electromagnetic waves from cell phones induced an infertility pattern in the reproductive capabilities of rats, with significant levels of free radicals inducing oxidative damage. Similar treatment with cell phone waves lowered sperm count and induced apoptosis (cell death) in another group of rats.

Sixty minutes of cell phone exposure a day for three months reduced serum testosterone in male rats. Testosterone is crucial for all aspects of the reproductive process, obviously.

Those are animal studies, albeit somewhat convincing ones. They show that cell phone waves can do something to rat and rabbit male fertility well enough to make us wonder about humans.

Human Studies

One “human” study back in 2008 got some headlines. “Cell phones can affect sperm quality, researcher says” read a headline describing the study, even as the very same researcher quoted in the headline acknowledged its major limitations. First of all, it was an in vitro study. They exposed 16 isolated semen samples in test tubes to an 850 MHz (a commonly used frequency) cell phone on talk mode 2.5 cm away for an hour. Compared to the control group of 16 samples, the exposed semen displayed 85% more oxidative stress and showed poorer sperm motility. And although researchers attempted to recreate normal everyday exposure by positioning the phones 2.5 cm away, they couldn’t account for the added skin, muscle, bone, and blood standing in the way of a pocketed cell phone as it tries to send electromagnetic waves toward the testicles. Would the effect be the same in a real world situation? Would it be amplified, reduced? Does flesh protect against radiation, so much that the electromagnetic waves from a cell phone in your pocket would never actually reach your testicles?

In another in vitro study, isolated sperm from healthy donors subjected to 900 MHz waves showed altered morphology and poor binding at the hemizona (binding at the hemizona is crucial for reproduction). Another in vitro study found that cell phone radiation impaired human sperm motility.

Researchers, guessing that it was the apoptosis (cell death) induced by cell phones that was wreaking havoc on animal fertility, tested whether the idea held up in human spermatozoa. It did not. When exposed to cell phone radiation, “highly motile” human sperm showed no indication of apoptosis.

There are also interesting observational studies. The most recent one revealed that cell phone-using male fertility patients had lower sperm counts than male patients who did not use a cell phone, as others have before. Oddly, the cell users in this study had higher circulating testosterone. How can this be? Isn’t high testosterone good for sperm production? Yes, but the cell users were also lower in luteinizing hormone, which helps convert circulating testosterone to the type used to produce sperm.

What do we make of this?

First of all, don’t freak out. Everyone has a cell phone now and yet somehow we manage to propagate the species, so it’s not catastrophic. That doesn’t preclude the existence of a negative effect, however. In fact, if I had to bet, I’d say the way we use and carry cell phones (eight to ten hours a day in our pocket) probably has an effect on our fertility. It might be small, and it might be limited to those with poor eating and exercising habits and heavy endocrine-disrupting chemical loads, but it’s worth considering. Here are my suggestions:

  • Don’t use your genitals to answer phone calls. It’s a great party trick, but it might decrease your fertility.
  • If you’re worried (especially if you plan on having kids), get regular sperm checks. Get a baseline quality assessment (motility, count), make a concerted effort to keep your cell phone off or away from your crotch when not in use, and test your numbers again after a month. Aim for at least 20 million per mL, which is on the low end of normal.
  • Leave your phone in your bag when you’re out with it, if you have one. If you don’t, consider buying one. Remember, it’s a man-bag, not a purse.
  • Take your phone out of your pocket when it’s possible – while driving, at a restaurant, at home, at the coffee shop.
  • Leave your phone at home/office. Out for a walk at lunch or after dinner? Resist the urge to fill your pocket with phone. Instead, use this time to disengage from the phone world and be present in the outside world.
  • Turn your phone off. Obviously, if you’re expecting an important call, keep it on. If you’re just keeping the phone on your person for readiness’ sake, turn the phone off until you want to check it.
  • If you’re trying to have kids, keep cell phones away from that area. Of course, remember that plenty of cell phone users have impregnated women, very possibly with a cell phone in the pocket at the time of conception.

I’m done having kids, and I’ve never been a slave to the phone, so I”m not going to stress over this. After all, we know that stress definitely kills, maims, and otherwise injures millions of people, whereas the cell phone effect is still murky. That said, if I were to have kids, I would make it a point to avoid heavy cell phone usage while trying. I wouldn’t bother with tin-foil codpieces or anything like that. I’d just limit my phone time and try to keep it out of my pocket, or off. That seems like a fair, reasonable move to make, and a safe bet, too, until more evidence accumulates in either direction. I’m glad that researchers are asking questions (PDF) like “Cell Phones: Modern Man’s Nemesis?” (awesomely worded). Better late than never. If it turns out that electromagnetic waves from cell phones are a chronic toxin (I think acute toxicity is out of the question at this point), I doubt society will stop using them en masse, but workarounds and mitigation strategies will know what they’re up against.

The science definitely isn’t settled, but there are clues. What are your thoughts on cell phones and male fertility? If you see cell phones in the pocket as a problem, how do you mitigate or avoid it? Let everyone know in the comment section!

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86 Comments on "Are Cell Phones Bad for Male Fertility?"

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Chipin
Chipin
5 years 3 months ago

I was under the impression that the holsters protected you from much of the radiation you would be exposed to compared to having the cell phone in your pocket. Does anyone know if they do indeed make a difference?

Matt
Matt
5 years 3 months ago

Maybe if your holster is a grounded faraday cage . . .

geekette
geekette
5 years 3 months ago

AHAHAHA I think I’d rather use a pay phone than walk around with such an unwieldy contraption….

Meg
Meg
5 years 3 months ago

If there were a ‘fan’ button here I’d be pressing it for you right now!

brian
brian
3 years 11 months ago

if you know of a way to protect against this let the world know, right now it is impossible…
http://bcfreedom.wordpress.com/2012/09/24/death-lies-and-mutations-what-the-military-kept-from-the-public-on-microwave-radiation/

Jeff
Jeff
5 years 3 months ago

If other people think it is a purse…then it is a purse. Maybe I can get a nice manly black bag with “Man Bag!!” written in big letters across it. There would be no disputing that! :D.

Nutritionator
5 years 3 months ago

I think carrying around a “man bag” (purse) is much more detrimental to my manhood than a cell phone will ever be!

Primal Toad
5 years 3 months ago

I’ve been thinking about getting a man bag… nah, I’ll pass.

Shaun Somers
5 years 3 months ago

“It’s not a purse, it’s a satchel! Indiana Jones had one.”

Rick
Rick
4 years 3 months ago

I call it a murse. I got this term in 1979 from a consultant (a full professor from Boston) who used one carry his wallet, passport, and constable’s badge, to help make room for the holster of his 357 revolver. I said the murse looked very good on him.

Burn
5 years 3 months ago

couldn’t have said it better myself, if other people think it’s a purse, then that’s what it is! i’ll admit having a man bag would be convenient, but i don’t think i could bring myself to do it

Tim
Tim
5 years 3 months ago

A backpack serves the purpose of a man bag and you can even keep a bag (or bags) inside for superior organization. No one laughs at you for wearing a backpack.

Jim Arkus
5 years 3 months ago

I knew it! For some reason this thought popped into my head about two months ago and wouldn’t leave. Ever since I’ve put my phone in my desk, in the passenger seat of the car, or just carried it.

Hal
5 years 3 months ago

While I don’t like the idea of having my wedding tackle irradiated, I think there’s far worse things out there to worry about. Additionally, it’s pretty straightforward to pull your phone out and put it on your desk, or dashboard, or whatever. Just make it a habit, and you can greatly reduce the amount of time you’re BBQing your junk.

Patrick
5 years 3 months ago

I’d be curious to see some studies done in Europe, where mobile phone usage is and always has been way ahead of North America.

Paul Alexander
5 years 3 months ago

You can wear the phone in a hand band, on your upper arm.

Kishore
Kishore
5 years 3 months ago

Even treadmills have shown to increase insulin resistance from ‘dirty electricity’.

Bill
Bill
5 years 3 months ago

The only thing worse than a purse would be a “man bag.” Maybe I can handle the funny shoes, but not this…

Chris
Chris
5 years 3 months ago

I’ve got three kids and a vasectomy, so “fertility” in that sense doesn’t move me.

The lowered testosterone in Rats is more disconcerting.

As I’m sitting here my phone is in my right front pocket. It’s lying against the outside of my right thigh so that the entirety of my leg is between phone and, um, bits.

I don’t think this is an issue, but I’ll keep an eye out for more research.

Eric Schmitz
5 years 3 months ago
“Don’t use your genitals to answer phone calls. It’s a great party trick, but it might decrease your fertility.” LOL! Mark, you are a stitch! Tim Ferriss mentions this in “4-Hour Body”, and Dana read me the relevant sections. I’m not so worried about sperm count, although as you said, a fertile man is a healthy man, so it does matter. I AM concerned about testosterone levels, especially since I started high-intensity strength training. So, though the jury still seems to be out, I went ahead and bought an armband carrier (like joggers put their iPods in) for when I… Read more »
Tim
Tim
5 years 3 months ago

If the radiation kills sperm I bet it’s bad for the whole body.

Bill Berry
5 years 3 months ago

I read this a few months back while skimming the Tim Ferris “4-Hour Body”. I have also taken the advice to heart & avoid carrying the cell in my pocket. I could NEVER imagine putting a cell phone INSIDE my ear, which just seems dumb, anyways!

Nion
Nion
5 years 3 months ago

So teaching my crotch to talk was useless? BAH! Valuable time down the drain.

PrimalArturo
5 years 3 months ago

I’ve tried putting my phone on my arm or leg (in one of those sports-band ipod holders), but it always ends up getting hot, sweaty, and uncomfortable.

Perhaps an invention? A product that you can wear on your arm or leg to keep your cell phone away from the jewels and still be comfortable/breathable.

Crunchy Pickle
5 years 3 months ago

Which phrase was funnier:

“Don’t use your genitals to answer phone calls. It’s a great party trick, but it might decrease your fertility.”

OR…

“Of course, remember that plenty of cell phone users have impregnated women, very possibly with a cell phone in the pocket at the time of conception.”

I can’t decide… 🙂

Robin
Robin
5 years 3 months ago

what about “Cell phone-using rabbits” LOL

Robin
Robin
5 years 3 months ago

Also “tin-foil codpieces” made me giggle 🙂 Mark, you had WAY too much fun writing this one!!

Tim
Tim
5 years 3 months ago

Me neither, but I’d be impressed to see someone pull both of those off at the same time.

Eric
5 years 3 months ago

“Don’t use your genitals to answer phone calls.”

You need to put that on a t-shirt. 🙂

peggy
peggy
5 years 3 months ago

or “use a man-bag to protect your sack”

Robin
Robin
5 years 3 months ago

LOL nice one Peggy 🙂

Aaron Blaisdell
5 years 3 months ago

I can call my wife from anywhere, and I have a reduced chance of an unwanted pregnancy with her now that we’ve had all the kids we could ever want? That’s a win-win in my book!

Nasreen
5 years 3 months ago
Hi Mark, Huge fan of the blog. I’ve just started eating Primal (okay, I’m a bad Grok, but I’m trying…) and I’m going through your book. It just so happens I work for a public health organization that works on this issue. Brain cancer isn’t the biggest worry with cell phones, as our Founder’s recent post highlights in the huffington post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/devra-davis-phd/cell-phones-cancer_b_874361.html I hope you’ll check out the following links, as it shows the highlights of the most current research out there – that being a conference done this past May, http://www.saferphonezone.com/?p=568. Everyone, please feel free to send me an… Read more »
Harry
5 years 3 months ago

One problem I see with leaving the cell at home/office/etc. is that their are very few pay phones left. In an emergency, or even if your car breaks down, you are depending on the kindness of strangers. So I carry the darned thing everywhere, not always turned on, usually in my fanny pack, or purse if you prefer. The word purse referring to something carried by men was fine until this country was swept by homophobia.

Primal Toad
5 years 3 months ago
Then continue to take it with you everywhere but turn it off. I went to Harry Potter World this past weekend with my sister and one of our best friends. I had a blast but was truly annoyed by how many times they checked their facebook feed on their phone. I plan on getting an iPhone 4 later this year… I sure hope that I don’t have that urge to check my damn facebook every second. I mean… it can be fun and contribute to managing your stress effectively but it can just get out of hand and lead to… Read more »
Nicole
Nicole
5 years 3 months ago

I’m thinking of canceling my smartphone because I hate the way I’m on it all the time, feels a little out of control.

Gary Deagle
5 years 3 months ago

Soon someone will try to market a cell phone as a form of birth control im sure.

Susan Alexander
5 years 3 months ago
Funny, I agree. Cell phone as birth control – it already is just that. When people are talking on the phone all the time, it keeps them from meeting each other in the first place. And if they’ve already met each other, and, say, they’re a couple, it keeps them from connecting. The long and short of it is that people often connect electronically INSTEAD OF in person, and when they are together, they use that time to connect electronically with OTHER PEOPLE. It’s crazy. I’ve made a conscious choice not to. When I’m spending time with someone, my phone… Read more »
Primal Toad
5 years 3 months ago
I CAN HEAR WHAT YOU ARE SAYING ALL THE WAY OVER HERE!! I mentioned it in the comment above but its worth saying again to the world… If you are hanging out with other people, socializing, then please do not check your facebook. Connecting on facebook is a FANTASTIC REVOLUTION. But, when it REPLACES interaction with people FACE to FACE then it, well, just needs to stop. Turn off your notifications and only check your facebook when you are alone. Use it to make friends and then go MEET that friend IN PERSON asap. Do it. Now. Just like walking.… Read more »
peggy
peggy
5 years 3 months ago

you mean there’s an app for that??

PrimalGrandma
PrimalGrandma
5 years 3 months ago

Instead of keeping the phone glued to your ear, just clamp it between your knees.

Primal E
Primal E
5 years 3 months ago

If cell phones do impact fertility, I wonder: can the damage be reversed once the cell phone is removed?

Nasreen
5 years 3 months ago

Men create new sperm, so they’ll bounce back (though the effect on their testicles hasn’t been documented, from what I know). I do recall one case study where it permanently impacted one woman’s fertility.

I’d say that for women, since they have all of the eggs they’ll ever make, it’d be an even greater problem. So better safe than sorry.

Cell phones have been shown to create birth defects in the skeletons of rabbits exposed to cell radiation in the womb, so pregnant women should be cautious too (check out research from Gazi University in turkey)

Rhonda
5 years 3 months ago

Girls, don’t put your phone in your jeans pocket. You’ve got ovaries right there!!!
Jeez, and not in your bikini top or bra either.

Chase
Chase
5 years 3 months ago

phew, so glad to know that it’s safe to stop wearing my “tin-foil codpiece”!

Very informative post and I loved that you approached the topic with level-headedness and a bit of humor. I hate how the media can resort to near fear-mongering on these types of topics just so they feel like they presented a gripping story to their audience.

Jeanna
5 years 3 months ago

at the rate people are spawning these days… I really don’t think we have too much to worry about.

Primal Toad
5 years 3 months ago

Good point! I have not read anyone say something like this.

I mean, there are how many of us in the world? 6.5 billion? Soon to be 7 billion?

If an individual wants to have a kid and they are not able to then they need to first change the way they eat and live. Live a primal lifestyle. If after a year there is no success then doing other little things like not having your cell phone in your pocket 24/7 might be a good idea.

But, in the big scheme of things… we don’t have anything to worry about!

Christopher
Christopher
5 years 3 months ago

I’ve always been wary of keeping anything that transmits radiation near my reproductive organs. Luckily, I usually don’t go anywhere without my backpack, so that’s where my phone always ends up during transit. I think females would have an easier time than males with this, simply because most men don’t carry bags or satchels with them. The backpack is a nice solution, though, being able to stash all my food and necessities for the day certainly eliminates chances for deviation.

Stevemidd
Stevemidd
5 years 3 months ago

If Hollywood is to be believed, irradiated sperm might be a good thing.

I for one, look forward to the forthcoming generation of superheroes.

rob
rob
5 years 3 months ago

I keep my nads wrapped in aluminum foil just in case.

knifegill
knifegill
5 years 3 months ago

I’m too Primal for a cell phone. I need my senses. I want to know when there’s something in the bushes or crawling above my head. Cell phones had only a negative impact on my quality of life when I used them. I don’t care what you and your friend had for dinner, I’m busy playing. And if I’m hiding in a tree or studying local fauna, I don’t want an ungodly distraction composed of stupid questions or funny pictures bothering my concentration. I prefer thinking over staring at my moving thumbs. Land line is sufficient.

Robin
Robin
5 years 3 months ago

Amen to that! Too many zombies walking around texting instead of paying attention to where they are going! Got rid of mine over a year ago and realized just how much I didn’t need it!

Kenny
Kenny
5 years 3 months ago

Guys get over the whole ‘man bag’ issue please. It’s a bag. It’s functional. It holds what it needs to. What could be more Primal?

Chris Sears
Chris Sears
5 years 3 months ago

A bag made from the pelt of a deer you speared yourself.

I keep my things, including my cell phone, in a watertight box. It fits in whatever pack I am using and keeps the electronics out of the rain when I am walking to work.

Pierre
Pierre
5 years 3 months ago

What about the radiation coming out of this laptop on my thighs? Is that the same cellphone radiation?

insufferablefoodie
5 years 3 months ago

This made me think of a particularly excellent Achewood story arc:

http://www.achewood.com/index.php?date=05182006

Dasbutch
Dasbutch
5 years 3 months ago

people of zee wurld…relax. eat primal, move frequently at a slow pace…and relax!

Brad C. Hodson
Brad C. Hodson
5 years 3 months ago

Someone mentioned how European cell phone usage is ahead and above ours here in the States. I’d just like to add that the population in Europe has been declining for the past twenty years. Correlation or causation? Correlation, I’m sure, but it does make you wonder…

Leroy
Leroy
5 years 3 months ago
Have never been able to justify the expense of staying connected for the minisclue amounts of time I use the phone. I’ve been disconnected for the last two years, and before that I only got my iphone because well, it’s was an iphone. Before then I had no phone at all. Now it’s a glorified ipod and nothing more. Carrying a phone everywhere is nothing short of a pain in the arse, and nothing is so important that I need to be contactable 24/7. Ditch the phone I say, it’s just a modern ball and chain. It’s hilarious (to me… Read more »
Carrie
Carrie
5 years 3 months ago

There has also been some research that showed decreased bone density in the hip on the side that men carried their cell phones. It was published in the Journal of Craniofacial Surgery in 2009, which makes you go, “Huh? craniofacial surgery? What’s the connection?” Turns out, bone grafts for such things are taken from the area of the hip/pelvis that is of interest.

Tom
5 years 3 months ago

I think I’m more afraid of soy products than cell phones.

Considering that we’re exposed to all sorts of things flying through the air, it’s hard to really stress about it.

Paleo Josh
5 years 3 months ago

I first heard Tim Ferris talk about this a few months ago.

Amelia
Amelia
5 years 3 months ago

Huh, maybe i should stop putting my phone on my nightstand when i go to bed (i use the phone as an alarm)…

How close does the phone have to be to have an effect?

JenCat
JenCat
5 years 3 months ago

I just got my husband a shoulder holster for his cell phone for Father’s Day. It looks just like one you would carry you firearm in, but it’s for your electronic devices. Really got it more as kind of a joke, but maybe it was a good idea!

ringerjms
ringerjms
5 years 3 months ago

I wonder if they took into account the size of a rabbit compared to the size of the cell phone compared to the size of a human…..because size does matter.

Dana
Dana
5 years 3 months ago
As a sufferer of occasional cluster headaches and migraines, the idea of getting brain cancer is a nightmare scenario for me. Just what I need, more pain in my head, plus it’s pain that will kill me. Not a lot of people survive that kind of cancer. Contrast this with all the scaremongering around breast cancer, which has a high survival rate. I’m not as worried about fertility because I’m not sure I want more kids. I still carry my phone in my pocket because I have an irrational fear of losing it. (Dunno why–I have an insurance policy on… Read more »
Spence
Spence
5 years 3 months ago

It’s such an interesting topic. There is another article I saw about this… I’m glad the word is getting out.

http://cavegirleats.com/2011/05/12/this-cant-be-good/

trackback

[…] Are Cell Phones Bad For Male Fertility? – Mark’s Daily Apple […]

Brandon
Brandon
5 years 3 months ago

Isn’t science just great? The minute it starts to prove inconvenient facts contrary to your financial interests just stop doing science and you’re off the hook.

Repeat the familiar “there are no scientific studies to prove that [your product] causes [negative health impact(s)]”

Absence of evidence is evidence of absence, a remarkably effective process which got MSG, GM crops, and also cell phones approved for mass consumption.

Yes, science is doing us great.

Dave
Dave
5 years 3 months ago

If cell phone radiation can have a negative impact on fertility, you could expand that to the moment we started broadcasting radiowaves! We’re surrounded at all times by electromagnetic waves. The signal to your tv dish? Passing through you right now! This could explain the decline in sperm count; we’ve had a proverbial cell-phone next to our man-bits for 60+ years!

Chris Sears
Chris Sears
5 years 3 months ago

The problem with cell phones is the proximity and duration of the signal. A radio tower broadcasts with more energy than a cell phone, but from farther away, so it is less of a health risk. With cell phones, the signal is broadcast right next to the body, so it would be a higher risk. Remember the inverse square law.

Brandon
Brandon
5 years 3 months ago
Great points made, however the argument that we have been exposed to your proverbial cell phones for 60+ years is a terrible argument for proliferating electromagnetic radiation in our environment. That is like saying the nuclear testing of the 50s and 60s put radioisotopes in the atmosphere and we’re still here so therefore its alright to put more radionuclides in the atmosphere. This is where my point comes in that the ‘absence of evidence is evidence of absence’ is naive and ignorant. People assume many things are safe because no one has properly investigated these things but I believe I… Read more »
julie
julie
5 years 3 months ago

Read this book for more in-depth info on this topic:

Disconnect: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation, What the Industry Has Done to Hide It, and How to Protect by Devra Davis

I found this book to be riveting and I believe one day we will learn that cell phone companies are much like tobacco companies. They knew it all along, just commissioned dozens of studies to muddy the waters and confuse consumers.

Did you know every cell phone manual says do not hold the phone closer than one inch to your body? That’s to protect them in lawsuits.

http://www.amazon.com/Disconnect-Radiation-Industry-Protect-Family/dp/B004LQ0ENC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1308505223&sr=8-1

Leighton
5 years 3 months ago
Great article, as ever Mark! I’m a huge fan of the old ‘man bag’… a far better alternative to having wallet/keys/phone/primal snacks etc hanging out of my pockets! There’s a great article here about this recent cell phone research. It turns out that the GSM signal used in the UK is about 28 times more harmful to human health than the CDMA signal used by most American networks: http://emf.mercola.com/sites/emf/archive/2011/06/18/finally-experts-admit-cellphones-are-a-carcinogen.aspx The mis-conception is that as we’re surrounded by EMF waves constantly, cell phones don’t pose any new threat. This couldn’t be further from the truth! It’s not just the level of… Read more »
David
David
5 years 3 months ago

I stopped carrying my cell phone in my pocket, per Tim Ferris’s advice, about 6 to 8 months ago. Let me tell you, it makes a large, noticeable, visual difference. I don’t even like carrying it in my back pocket but sometimes there’s just nowhere to put it.

Archie
Archie
5 years 3 months ago
Thanks for a very well-balanced article, Mark, though almost none of the “studies” showing damage have been replicated by other groups. It’s hardly surprising since there’s no actual mechanism by which microwave radiation of that wavelength can cause damage to DNA. Turning up the power would just increase the heating effect, which is minuscule compared to that of the body, or indeed of the sunshine falling on it even on a cloudy day! As for Dr Devra Davis, who has been making a nice little packet out of crying “WOLF!”, she is not a physicist but a sociologist. She simply… Read more »
Nasreen
5 years 3 months ago
Correction – she is an epidemiologist. Regardless, your science is outdated. DNA damage has been recorded by multiple sources, search Henry Lai, Wilhelm Mosgoeller, Santosh Kesari. – a list of pubs can be found in the references: http://www.disconnectbook.com/references/ Many of them from well-known journals, such as Brain Research. Also, Richard Stein, a physician researcher conducting basic biological research on the genome at Princeton University, posted a response to the “lack of mechanism” argument in SCcientific American. “Any environmental exposure can have 2 mechanisms of action: 1). direct, and 2). indirect. It is true that the energy of cell phone radiation… Read more »
Leighton
5 years 3 months ago
Archie, according to the UK Department of Health ‘Mobile Phone Safety’ publications – there are clear negative effects of low wavelength radiation on the human body, as confirmed by the rising incidence of malignant brain tumors on the phone-bearing side of the head (UK), lower bone-density findings on the phone-carrying hip, as well as countless individuals across the world who report complex symptoms of nausea, pain, headaches etc. The thing is – science can’t understand how this low-frequency mechanism works, due to, (and I quote) “gaps in our current scientific knowledge”. As one comment earlier suggested – becuase we don’t… Read more »
gina
gina
5 years 2 months ago

This is why I have my son wear painter’s pants and put is phone in the knee pocket rather than my future grandchildren pocket.

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