According to New Systematic Review and Updated Meta-Analysis of 18 Studies Cell Phone Use Harms Sperm

By B.N. Frank

Cell phones, laptops, and other wireless radiation emitting products include warnings in their manuals that carrying and holding these devices against the body may cause users to expose themselves to radiation levels that exceed federal RF safety limits. Nevertheless – both telecom and tech companies often advertise unsafe use of their products to people of all ages.  Unfortunately, there are countless examples of businesses and organizations that also do this.

Articles, research, and warnings about radiation exposure from cell phones and other wireless devices affecting fertility are NOT new (see 1, 2).

Thanks to Environmental Health Trust for posting additional science about cell phone use affecting sperm.


New Systematic Review: Cell Phone Use Harms Sperm

A new systematic review and updated meta-analysis of 18 studies published in Environmental Research concludes that the accumulated data shows that mobile phone usage is harmful to sperm quality.  Previous  published reviews in 2014, 2016, 2018 , 2020 and 2021 found  impacts to sperm and reproduction.  “Mobile phone use decreased the overall sperm quality by affecting the motility, viability, and concentration. It was further reduced in the group with high mobile phone usage. In particular, the decrease was remarkable in in vivo studies with stronger clinical significance in subgroup analysis. Therefore, long-term cell phone use is a factor that must be considered as a cause of sperm quality reduction. Additional studies are needed to determine the effect of the exposure to EMWs emitted from new mobile phone models in the present digital environment.”

Citation

Sungjoon Kim, Donghyun Han, Jiwoo Ryu, Kihun Kim, Yun Hak Kim. Effects of mobile phone usage on sperm quality – No time-dependent relationship on usage: A systematic review and updated meta-analysis. Environ Res. 2021 Jul 29;111784. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2021.111784.

Cell phones have also been linked to erectile dysfunction (ED). In a 2013 study published in the Central European Journal of Urology, men with ED carried switched-on cell phones for longer periods of time (average of 4.4 hours daily) than men without ED (average 1.8 hours daily).

Numerous published research studies document other adverse effects from wireless radiation.  For example, a Lancet publication finds “most studies” have demonstrated significant biological or health effects; two 2021 reviews find a broad range of harmful effects to flora and fauna; 2020 meta-analysis found cellular phone use linked to increased tumor risk. 2017 and 2018 reviews on cancer conclude wireless is a carcinogen;  a 2021 review finds genetic damage;  2016 and 2021 reviews find oxidative stress; replicated research finds memory damage; and many experimental studies including those from Yale find impacts to the brain.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

  1. Read the Fine Print
    All device manufacturers advise that each device should be held at some distance away from human bodies and brains. Turn the Power OFF on phones, tablets, Mp3 players etc, before they are placed in a pants pocket, suit jacket or tucked into clothing.
  2. Prefer Non-Wireless Connections
    For phone (landline), internet, printer and entertainment gear, connect by cord or cable with all wireless features off. Turning off your Wi-Fi at night reduces your exposure significantly. However if you have Wi-Fi on during the day (especially with the router near your body in your office) you could be getting daily significant exposure. Installing fully wired systems eliminates this source completely.
  3. Increase Distance
    Keep wireless devices away from your lap! Do not place your cell phone, laptop or tablet on your lap. Decrease your exposure by increasing your distance from emitting sources. Remember that even if a device is not in use, it will still emit regular short bursts of microwave radiation.
  4. Turn It Off When Not in Use
    You can easily decrease your exposures by turning off wireless networks and devices whenever you aren’t actively using them. Remember that DECT home phones, wireless routers and gaming consoles all emit microwave radiation regardless of whether you are actively using a device. Gaming consoles need to be completely unplugged to eliminate the radiation output.
  5. Practice Safer Phone
    When you must use a mobile phone, put in Airplane mode/Wi-Fi OFF when not in use and use a speaker phone, headset or a plug-in earpiece. When you use your cell phone do not rest it near your body. Trade in your home cordless phone for a good old fashioned landline with a wired handset and use that more often. Remember that children should not use mobile phones except in emergency.
  6. Drive Safe
    Power OFF in vehicles. Mobile devices distract us and a split second is all it takes. In terms of radiation exposure, they emit higher power radiation during travel and the metal surroundings create radiation hotspots. If your cell phone is on, do not rest your cell phone on your lap while driving. Place it as far away as possible.

Effects of mobile phone usage on sperm quality – No time-dependent relationship on usage: A systematic review and updated meta-analysis

Sungjoon Kim, Donghyun Han, Jiwoo Ryu, Kihun Kim, Yun Hak Kim. Effects of mobile phone usage on sperm quality – No time-dependent relationship on usage: A systematic review and updated meta-analysis. Environ Res. 2021 Jul 29;111784. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2021.111784.AbstractBackground: Mobile phones emit radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic waves (EMWs), a low-level RF that can be absorbed by the human body and exert potential adverse effects on the brain, heart, endocrine system, and reproductive function. Owing to the novel findings of numerous studies published since 2012 regarding the effect of mobile phone use on sperm quality, we conducted a systematic review and updated meta-analysis to determine whether the exposure to RF-EMWs affects human sperm quality.

Methods: This study was conducted in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines. The outcome measures depicting sperm quality were motility, viability, and concentration, which are the most frequently used parameters in clinical settings to assess fertility.

Results: We evaluated 18 studies that included 4280 samples. Exposure to mobile phones is associated with reduced sperm motility, viability, and concentration. The decrease in sperm quality after RF-EMW exposure was not significant, even when the mobile phone usage increased. This finding was consistent across experimental in vitro and observational in vivo studies.

Discussion: Accumulated data from in vivo studies show that mobile phone usage is harmful to sperm quality. Additional studies are needed to determine the effect of the exposure to EMWs from new mobile phone models used in the present digital environment.


Of course, decades of research has also already determined that exposure from cell phones as well as other wireless devices and infrastructure don’t just affect sperm and/or fertility (see 1, 2, 3, 4).



Activist Post reports regularly about cell phones and other unsafe technology.  For more information, visit our archives and the following websites:

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