Are Cell Phones Dangerous to Your Health?on JULY 14, 2015
There's growing concern over the potential adverse health effects of long-term exposure to electromagnetic radiation from cell phones. Should you be concerned?
If you're reading this, chances are good you own a cell phone. In fact, it's probably in your pocket right now, or at least within easy reach. You might even be reading this article on your smart phone.
Twenty years ago, cell phones were still somewhat of a novelty, mildly cumbersome, and were most decidedly "dumb," with screens just large enough to display a phone number. Now, 90% of American adults own a cell phone, and well over half have a smart phone. (1) The question is, what effect — if any — does this have on our health?
In this article, I'll look at the two most well-researched health conditions associated with cell phone use: male infertility and brain cancer.
Can cell phones cause infertility?Several epidemiological studies have found an association between cell phone use and male infertility and decreased sperm quality. For example, a study published in 2008 found that of 361 men attending an infertility clinic, participants who used a cell phone more frequently had lower sperm count, motility, and viability, and had more sperm with abnormal structure. (2) Two other studies also found a higher percentage of abnormal sperm in men who used a cell phone. (3, 4)
Animal experiments have also been conducted to better determine whether a cause-and-effect relationship exists, and what the mechanism might be. Studies where rodents were exposed to cell phone radiation have found decreased sperm motility and abnormal structure, as well as increased DNA damage and oxidative stress. (5) For example, rats exposed to an active cell phone for just 1 hour/day for 4 weeks exhibited reduced sperm motility and increased oxidative stress compared to controls who were exposed to a cell phone without batteries for the same period of time. (6)