The Dangers of Not Even Using Your Cell Phone


| 5 Comments
Today's world basically demands the use of a cell phone in order to keep up with the fast paced culture. A lot of the issues with cell phones are directed towards the excess use and the risks of having them by our brains when talking thus leading to the concern of possible brain tumors. But what about when we're not using them? Most of us, men more than women, place our cell phones in our pockets when we're not using them. The close proximity to the male genitals raises a cause for concern with not only testicular cancer, but infertility as well.

Multiple rat studies were conducted; all of which pointed towards a negative "effect in semen quality and may impair male fertility". Many weren't convinced these were simply tests on animals a fraction of our size.

Unfortunately, an observational study was done where approximately 2,000 men were examined based on their cell phone use. The study showed that 68% of users had some sort of morphology while only 58% of non-users had a morphology.

Another experiment conducted by Ashok Agarwal, director of research at the Center for Reproduction Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic tried to display sperm's inability to "swim" after being exposed to a cell phone for a significant amount of time. The sperm that were placed by cell phones showed a significant decrease in swimming abilities when compared to the control group.

With cell phones being a relatively new invention, it's hard to take large sample sizes of men and analyze infertility. As we've learned in class with vaccines, you have to wait over a long period of time, namely 30-40 years to see a difference. Until then, I guess all we can do is take precautions when using our cell phones and where we hold them when not using them.

With the rate of cell phone use increasing every year as we become more and more dependent on our phones, it only makes sense that we directly increase our risks of complications with fertility, and quite possibly cancer. Since it's only been around a decade since cell phone use has become the norm it's hard to tell, but is it possible that the next couple generation of children will have a greater chance of birth defects? 

Sources- http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/06/02/do-cell-phones-cause-infertility.html


5 Comments

My cell phone is my life! Everything I know, love and need is on my cell. I actually have heard in the past about how just having your phone on you can be bad for you, which makes me really scared because while it may not be classy I usually carry my phone in my bra. This makes me wonder am I more likely to get breast cancer because that is where I carry it. I actually have a cozy for my phone attached to my purse so whenever I can I usually put it in there to help prevent me from getting anything I do not want. I think it is very sad to hear that cell phones could cause birth defects in the near future once we learn more about the technology. It would be horrible to think that something we are doing every day and unknowingly could cause our future children to be effected. I hope that they do more research on this topic so that we can have a better understanding on how this every day item is affecting our lives. I would hope that if these researches come out badly towards our health that companies would begin to come out with a healthier way to communicate and also give all users some sort of medical analysis. I would hope that the companies that harm us would own up and help fix what they may or may not have known was harming us.

You bring up a good point. This is like a slight birth control for men. I believe only time and more in depth studies will be able to prove causation between the two but like you said, it will take years to see the side effects. This reminds me of the smoking lecture where we were harming ourselves without knowing and motives of cigarette companies were hiding evidence that it was dangerous. Could this be happening in the cell phone industry? Like smoking, do you think even if this turns out to be harmful, people will stop?

Paul,
This is an interesting article and the risks of using cellphones have been known to be very high. Growing up, my father always told me to use my cellphone only when I needed to. He was always against using cellphones frequently but I never fully understood why. I use my cellphone on a daily basis and I spend hours on it everyday and so far there have been no side effects of doing so. However, research has shown that the radiation from cellphones indefinitely stimulates brain cell activity. However, it is still uncertain to what extent the damage of cellphone radiation can do to people. Cellphones have been around since 1973 and although there have been cases where people have gotten brain damage/brain tumors/cancer, it has been on a relatively small scale considering how many people use cellphones. I wonder if there are people that are more susceptible to brain damage by cellphone radiation then others. If so, what could these factors be? This issue is something that I foresee will be solved in the coming years considering how often cellphones are used

Stephanie,
Unfortunately I don't see cell phone use ending as a means to prevent birth defects. Our society has grown far too dependent on cell phones today. As a freshman, I don't know how I would've found any of my classes if not for the app on my iPhone that displays every building's location on Google Maps. As the cell phone, specifically iPhone, become more advanced, the more we will depend on it. I mean, people manage their bank accounts on phones these days. However, maybe they will make advancements in terms of phone covers. I'm sure they could create some sort of cover for phones that would block the radiation from endangering us. All we can do is hope.

I find your post very interesting because I thought the same thing about a year ago, but for a different reason. I thought about the reports about how laptops on our lap can lead to infertility, and realized that phones like the IPhone, which use Wi-Fi, could also be dangerous. I think it sucks though that this can be a danger because other than a pocket, there is no other place that a guy can put his phone without putting it at risk of being stolen.

Like the many who you said doubted the results of the rat studies, I agree that testing on rats doesn’t really give us great information about the effects that cell phone radiation can have on us. The study by Agarwal on the other hand seems legitimate because human sperm were put in the vicinity of cell phones to see how their swimming abilities were affected from being near sperm. However I do think that this study is another study that displays how correlation does not equal causation. The reason that I think this is because there could be a third variable that could have affected the results of the study. Perhaps the men whose sperm were studied could be laptop users who place their laptops on their lap (which has also been said to lead to infertility), or those men could have genes that involve their sperm being weak. If either one of these is true that could have made the results of the study insignificant. In which case placing them near the cell phones didn’t have much of an effect on them.

I understand how you say that like with the vaccines we have to wait to see a difference. That will help because the more we wait the more science that can be done. Science can then bring correlation closer to proving causation.

As I stated earlier I thought that the Wi-Fi feature of cell phones is what was more harmful for us instead of just pure radiation; perhaps it is because I believe there are more known studies about laptops’ Wi-Fi radiation effects on male infertility. Therefore that issue seems to get more scientists’ attention. I could be wrong though and the radiation dangers of cell phones could be like the situations with Thalidomide, bloodletting, etc. (where something was popular because no one knew the defects of it). If so, we really will just have to wait and see what science has proven about it years down the line.

Sources:
http://www.friscoinfertility.com/initial-evaluation/causes-of-infertility.html

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