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ASRM_1209.qxp 11/24/09 12:13 PM Page 10 10 Renal & Urology News DECEMBER 2009 Cell Phone Use Could Damage Semen Handsets in talk mode while in a trouser pocket could decrease sperm motility, a study suggests Society for Reproductive Medicine RF-EMW exposure on sperm para- found. The exposed samples also annual meeting, said carrying a cell meters at a specific distance and identi- showed an 18% increased production phone in a trouser pocket while talk- fied the type of free radicals produced of extracellular seminal ROS com- ing on a Bluetooth device may ex- by human sperm. pared with the non-exposed semen pose the human testes to high-power After liquefaction, 17 semen samples samples. The investigators concluded radiofrequency electromagnetic waves were divided into two aliquots. One that the significant decline in sperm ISTOCKPHOTO (RF-EMW) when the phone is in the aliquot (experimental) from each pa- quality in specimens exposed to RF- talk mode. tient was exposed to cell phone radia- EMW may be mediated by increased In a recent in vitro study, the re- tion (while the phone was in talk ROS production. They hypothesized BY JOHN SCHIESZER searchers found an increased produc- mode) for 60 minutes and a second that when a man talks on a Bluetooth ATLANTA—Men who keep cell tion of free radicals or reactive oxygen unexposed aliquot served as the con- and the cell phone is on talk mode in phones in a trouser pocket in the talk species (ROS) in semen after expos- trol under identical conditions, includ- the pocket or attached to a belt, it mode while using a Bluetooth device ing semen to RF-EMW emitted by a ing a temperature of 69° Fahrenheit. might be dangerous and could cause may experience decreased fertility, cell phone. The team realized, how- Dr. Agarwal’s group used computa- infertility. Dr. Agarwal told Renal & according to researchers. ever, that it is difficult to estimate the tional biomodeling to calculate the Urology News that “we do feel further “We found increased oxidative stress accurate amount of RF-EMW expo- distance of 3.3 cm between the an- studies are needed. At this time I and a decrease in sperm motility,” said sure to human testes because testes are tenna and the sample tube center. The would say excessive use should be investigator Ashok Agarwal, PhD, separated by scrotal layers from the cell investigators then looked at the per- avoided. However, there is a need for Director of Reproductive Research at phone. They used a computer bio- centage of sperm motility and viability. new studies to prove our in vitro find- Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. modeling program to calculate the dis- ROS production in the semen speci- ings in an in vivo condition.” Dr. Agarwal and his colleagues tance in an in vitro experiment. The mens was measured using lucigenin Two studies from the Cleveland conducted a prospective, controlled experiment was designed to mimic the (extracellular) and flow cytometry Clinic have shown the harmful ef- trial looking at the effects of Blue- RF-EMW exposure while a cell phone (intracellular). fects of cell phone-generated elec- tooth technology on male fertil- is kept in the trouser pocket in the talk Semen samples exposed to RF-EMW tromagnetic radiation on semen qual- ity. Dr. Agarwal, who presented the mode. For their new investigation, the showed significantly lower sperm mo- ity. Several other recent studies support study findings here at the American researchers examined the effect of tility and viability, the investigators these findings. n Commonly Prescribed Medications May Harm Male Reproduction BY JOHN SCHIESZER blocker propranolol can decreas
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