Review on sperm quality and mobile telephones – June 2014

A review of 10 studies on sperm quality and exposure to mobile phones was published at the beginning of June in Environment International.

This review, which is presented as a meta-analysis but in fact includes a range of very different studies, covers 1,492 samples. It demonstrates an 8-9% decrease in the motility and viability of sperm cells after exposure to mobile phones. Only four studies were undertaken in vivo and none provides a quantitative assessment of the exposure rates to mobile phones.

It must be noted that there are considerable spontaneous variations in the vitality and motility of sperm cells, as is demonstrated by the Sheffield University authors: both decrease during the summer months, after the absorption of cannabis and after sexual relations. No epidemiological study of the men’s fertility was undertaken. Dr Pacey of Sheffield University, who has studied over 2,000 samples of sperm, is furthermore highly critical of this publication and following the very reassuring opinions issued by the health authorities in France (ANSES), Australia (ARPANSA) and Sweden (SSI), said that: “There have been some crazy and alarming headlines on this subject. In my opinion, the studies undertaken to date have been somewhat limited.” According to Dr Pacey, what is needed are some properly designed epidemiological studies. “Until that time, I will be continuing to keep my iPhone in my trouser pocket”.

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