From the UK Telegraph comes word of a study that demonstrates men who keep their cell phones in their pockets, close to their testicles, risk “cooking” their sperm, possibly making it difficult for them to have children.
There have been a number of cell phone health scares over the years, but this one seems well-researched, and its theory rests more plausibly upon the energy generated by our increasingly large and powerful smarphones, rather than nebulous assertions about the electromagnetic signature of distant cell towers:
The study – by highly respected specialists – found that sperm levels of men who kept their phones in their pocket during the day were seriously affected in 47 per cent of cases compare to just 11 per cent in the general population.
Professor Martha Dirnfeld, of the Technion University in Haifa, said: “We analysed the amount of active swimming sperm and the quality and found that it had been reduced.
“We think this is being caused by a heating of the sperm from the phone and by electromagnetic activity.”
The team monitored more than 100 men attending a fertility clinic for a year.
They found that besides men keeping their phones close to their groin many spoke on the phone while it was charging and kept it only a few centimetres from their bed.
Even keeping the phone on a bedside table appears to raise lower sperm cell counts
The findings are in the journal Reproductive BioMedicine and support a long-feared link between dropping fertility rates in men and the prevalent use of cellular phones.
Another fertility expert, Professor Gedis Grudzinskas of St. Geroge’s Hospital in London, advised men to “think about their well-being and try to stop being addicted to their phones,” or at least keep their phones in their chest pockets.
“Some men keep their mobile in their shorts or pyjamas in bed. Is that really necessary?” the professor asked.
However, another professor dismissed the results of the study as alarmist, leading to a bit of sniping between fertility experts:
Professor Alan Pacey, a fertility research scientist at Sheffield University has scoffed at suggestions that mobile phones could be damaging male fertility and insists he will be carry on putting his mobile in his trouser pocket.
Professor Dirnfeld said: “Dr Pacey might not need to worry about his fertility, but for younger guys it is a worry. If you a trying for a baby and it doesn’t happen within a year you might want to think of whether it could be your mobile phone habit that is to blame.”
The Telegraph notes that declining sperm quality is generally seen as a problem for Western men. Perhaps it’s time to study the effect of reading too many health scare stories upon testicular fortitude. Meanwhile, we can ponder the notion that cell-phone addiction could swiftly eliminate itself through selective breeding.