Not Quite a Love Story

Parents For Safe Technology

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.
-Dalai Lama

Sperm, the Ovaries and Your Laptop

It’s true, wireless hurts sperm. The damage is not due to heat. Research consistently finds that even at very low levels RF changes sperm DNA, slows sperm down and decreases the entire crew.  Experimental research shows impacts such as decreased ovarian follicles and infertility.

Considering our daughters are born with just one set of eggs, we have more than enough reasons to take precautions now.

Zalata A, El-Samanoudy AZ, Shaalan D, El-Baiomy Y, Mostafa T.
In vitro effect of cell phone radiation on motility, DNA fragmentation and clusterin gene expression in human sperm.Int J Fertil Steril. 2015 Apr-Jun;9(1):129-36. Epub 2015 Apr 21. 

  • This study aimed to investigate the effects of in vitro RF-EMF exposure emitted from cellular phones on sperm motility index, sperm DNA fragmentation and seminal clusterin (CLU) gene expression.
  • RESULTS: There was a significant decrease in sperm motility, sperm linear velocity, sperm linearity index, and sperm acrosin activity, whereas there was a significant increase in sperm DNA fragmentation percent, CLU gene expression and CLU protein levels in the exposed semen samples to RF-EMF compared with non-exposed samples. 
  • CONCLUSION: Cell phone emissions have a negative impact on exposed sperm motility index, sperm acrosin activity, sperm DNA fragmentation and seminal CLU gene expression.

Avendaño C. et al., 2012.Use of laptop computers connected to internet through Wi-Fi decreases human sperm motility and increases sperm DNA fragmentation.Fertility and Sterility 97(1): 39-45.

  • Ex vivo exposure of human spermatozoa to a wireless internet-connected laptop decreased motility and induced DNA fragmentation by a nonthermal effect.

Jessica A. Adams, Tamara S. Galloway, Debapriya Mondala, Sandro C. Estevesb, Fiona Mathewsa,
Effect of mobile telephones on sperm quality: A systematic review and meta-analysis, Environment International, Volume 70, September 2014, Pages 106–112

  • The results were consistent across experimental in vitro and observational in vivo studies. We conclude that pooled results from in vitro and in vivo studies suggest that mobile phone exposure negatively affects sperm quality. Further study is required to determine the full clinical implications for both sub-fertile men and the general population.

Atasoy H.I. et al., 2013.
Immunohistopathologic demonstration of deleterious effects on growing rat testes of radiofrequency waves emitted from conventional Wi-Fi devices.Journal of Pediatric Urology.

  • Significant  increases in serum 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine levels and 8-hydroxyguanosine staining in the testes of the experimental group indicating DNA damage due to exposure (p < 0.05).

Agarwal A, Desai NR, Makker K, Varghese A, Mouradi R, Sabanegh E, Sharma R,
Effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic waves (RFEMW) from cellular phones on human ejaculated semen: an in vitro pilot study, Fertil Sterility. 2009 Oct; 92(4):131825

  • “Radiofrequency electromagnetic waves emitted from cell phones may lead to oxidative stress in human semen.  We speculate that keeping the cell phone in a trouser pocket in talk mode may negatively affect spermatozoa and impair male fertility.”

Badereddin Mohamad Al–Ali, et al.
,Cell phone usage and erectile function. Cent European J Urol. 2013; 66(1): 75–77.

  • Those suffering from erectile dysfunction carried a switched-on mobile phone 4.4 hours per day on average, compared to just 1.8 hours per day for the men who did not experience impotence.

De Iuliis GN, Newey RJ, King BV, Aitken RJ.,
Mobile phone radiation induces reactive oxygen species production and DNA damage in human spermatozoa in vitro. PLoS One. 2009 Jul 31;4(7)

  • In step with increasing SAR, motility and vitality were significantly reduced after RF-EMR exposure, while the mitochondrial generation of reactive oxygen species and DNA fragmentation were significantly elevated (P<0.001). Furthermore, we also observed highly significant relationships between SAR, the oxidative DNA damage bio-marker, 8-OH-dG, and DNA fragmentation after RF-EMR exposure.  These findings have clear implications for the safety of extensive mobile phone use by males of reproductive age, potentially affecting both their fertility and the health and wellbeing of their offspring.

Shahin et al.
2.45 GHz Microwave Irradiation Adversely Affects Reproductive Function in Male Mouse, Mus musculus by Inducing Oxidative and Nitrosative Stress.Free Radic Res. 2014 Feb 4.

  • Significant decrease in sperm count, sperm viability, decrease in seminiferous tubule diameter, degeneration of seminiferous tubules.  Reduction in testicular 3β HSD activity and plasma testosterone levels and increased expression of testicular i-NOS was observed.  These “adverse reproductive effects suggest that chronic exposure to microwave radiation may lead to infertility via free radical species-mediated pathway.”

Gul A1, Celebi H, Uğraş S.
The effects of microwave emitted by cellular phones on ovarian follicles in rats. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2009 Nov;280(5):729-33. doi: 10.1007/s00404-009-0972-9. Epub 2009 Feb 25.

  • 30 minutes every 24 hours pregnancy resulted in “decreased number of follicles in pups exposed to mobile phone microwaves suggest that intrauterine exposure has toxic effects on ovaries.” The authors state, “microwaves of mobile phones might decrease the number of follicles in rats by several known and, no doubt, countless unknown mechanisms.”

Panagopoulos DJ,
Effect of microwave exposure on the ovarian development of Drosophila melanogaster. Cell Biochem Biophys. 2012 Jun;63(2):121-32. doi: 10.1007/s12013-012-9347-0.

  • “The ovarian size of the exposed insects is significantly smaller than that of the corresponding sham-exposed insects, due to destruction of egg chambers by the GSM radiation, after DNA damage and consequent cell death induction in the egg chamber” cells of the virgin females as shown in previous experiments on inseminated females.

Ghanbari et at., The Effects of Cell Phone Waves (900 MHz-GSM Band) on Sperm Parameters and Total Antioxidant Capacity in Rats. Int J Fertil Steril. 2013 Apr;7(1):21-8. Epub 2013 Mar 6.

  • Sperm viability, motility, and total antioxidant capacity in all exposure groups decreased significantly compared to the control group (p<0.05). "These waves can also decrease sperm total antioxidant capacity in rats and result in oxidative stress."

Falzone N, Huyser C, Becker P, Leszczynski D, Franken DR. 2011. The effect of pulsed 900-MHz GSM mobile phone radiation on the acrosome reaction, head morphometry and zona binding of human spermatozoa. Int J Androl 34(1): 20-6.

  • This study concludes that RF-EMF exposure had a significant effect on sperm morphometry.  In addition, a significant decrease in sperm binding to the hemizona was observed.  These results could indicate a significant effect of RF-EMF on sperm fertilization potential.

Oral B, Guney M, Ozguner Fet al. Endometrial apoptosis induced by a 900-MHz mobile phone: preventive effects of vitamins E and C. Adv Ther. 2006;23:957–73

  • Their results indicated that mobile phones may cause endometrial apoptosis and oxidative stress

Redmayne M, Smith E, Abramson M. Adolescent in-school cellphone habits: A census of rules, survey of their effectiveness, and fertility implications. Reproductive Toxicology 2011;32:354-9. Doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2011.08.006

  • The fertility literature is inconclusive, but increasingly points towards significant time- and dose-dependent deleterious effects from cellphone exposure on sperm.  Genotoxic effects have been demonstrated from "non-thermal‟ exposures, but not consistently.  There is sufficient evidence and expert opinion to warrant an enforced school policy removing cellphones from students during the day.