Cell Phones Linked to Sluggish Sperm

Small study sees effect from leaving device in pocket on talk mode
By Sarah Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2008 2:35 PM CDT
A man makes a cell phone call while crossing the street yesterday in New York; putting that phone in his pocket while he talks via headset could harm his sperm, a study finds.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Would-be dads should think twice about keeping cell phones in pants pockets while using wireless headsets, CNN reports, with a small study suggesting that active phones can decrease sperm motility and viability. Semen samples exposed to a cell phone in talk mode contained higher levels of free radicals, which "have been linked to a variety of diseases in humans including cancer," a researcher said.

However, the study's leader acknowledges its limitations. The sample size was small, and sperm could act differently in a lab than in the human body, he said, stressing that more research is needed. Predictably, the cell-phone industry didn't take the news too seriously.  Evidence "shows that there is no link between wireless usage and adverse health effects," a spokesman said.