As if the invisible spectre of cancer weren't enough, now you might need to worry a bit about what cellphones are doing to your testicle. A new study in the Journal of Andrology says phones might be ruining your sperm.
The report combines a variety of prior studies, concluding some rather disconcerting stuff for those of us with testicles, or for those of you with testicled loved ones:
Altogether the results of these studies show that RF-EMR decreases sperm count and motility, and increases the oxidative stress..... In human beings, two different experimental approaches have been followed, one has explored the effects of RF-EMR directly on spermatozoa and the other has evaluated the sperm parameters in men using or not mobile phones...... The results show that human spermatozoa exposed to RF-EMR have decreased motility, morphometric abnormalities, and increased oxidative stress, whereas men using mobile phones have decreased sperm concentration, motility (particularly the rapid progressive one), normal morphology, and viability..... These abnormalities seem to be directly related with the length of mobile phone use.
Cell Phone Maxium RF Power levels
The rate at which radiation is absorbed by the human body is measured by the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), and its maximum levels for modern handsets have been set by governmental regulating agencies in many countries. In the USA, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has set a SAR limit of 1.6 W/kg, averaged over a volume of 1 gram of tissue, for the head. In Europe, the limit is 2 W/kg, averaged over a volume of 10 grams of tissue.
In the USA, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has set a SAR limit of 1.6 W/kg, averaged over a volume of 1 gram of tissue, for the head. In Europe, the limit is 2 W/kg, averaged over a volume of 10 grams of tissue. SAR values are heavily dependent on the size of the averaging volume. Without information about the averaging volume used, comparisons between different measurements cannot be made. Thus, the European 10-gram ratings should be compared among themselves, and the American 1-gram ratings should only be compared among themselves
One well-understood effect of microwave radiation is dielectric heating, in which any dielectric material (such as living tissue) is heated by rotations of polar molecules induced by the electromagnetic field. In the case of a person using a cell phone, most of the heating effect will occur at the surface of the head, causing its temperature to increase by a fraction of a degree. In this case, the level of temperature increase is an order of magnitude less than that obtained during the exposure of the head to direct sunlight. The brain's blood circulation is capable of disposing of excess heat by increasing local blood flow .
The 10 smartphones with the highest radiation
T-Mobile MyTouch 3G (1.55 W/kg)
Blackberry Curve 8330 (1.54 W/kg)
Palm Treo 600 (1.53 W/kg)
T-Mobile Shadow (1.53 W/kg)
Palm Treo 650 (1.51 W/kg)
Blackberry Curve 8300 (1.51 W/kg)
Blackberry Bold 9000 (1.51 W/kg)
Sony Ericsson P910a (1.50 W/kg)
HTC SMT 5800 (1.49 W/kg)
BlackBerry Pearl 8120/8130 (1.48 W/kg)
The T-Mobile MyTouch 3G, an HTC smartphone powered by Google Android that debuted to lots of fanfare this summer, topped the list of the worst radiation offenders. However, other popular smartphones dominated the list as well, especially BlackBerries and Treos. The BlackBerry Curve, the best-selling smartphone on the market in 2009, was a close second on the list, and it was joined in the top 10 by its cousins, the BlackBerry Pearl and the BlackBerry Bold.
The 10 smartphones with lowest radiation
Nokia 9300i (0.21 W/kg)
Nokia 7710 (0.22 W/kg)
T-Mobile MDA Wiza200 (0.28 W/kg)
Samsung Impression SGH-a877 (0.35 W/kg)
Nokia 9300 (0.44 W/kg)
Samsung Propel Pro SGH-i627 (0.47 W/kg)
Samsung Gravity SGH-t459 (0.49 W/kg)
BlackBerry Storm 9530 (0.57 W/kg)
Nokia E90 (0.59 W/kg)
Nokia N96 (0.68 W/kg)
Nokia, with five models in this top 10, and Samsung with three, were clearly the winners in terms of smartphones that emit the least amount of radiation. It’s also interesting to note that although both of these companies produce dozens of different models, neither of them had a single model that made the list of the worst radiation offenders. The surprising member of the low-radiation club was the BlackBerry Storm (RIM’s first touchscreen device) since so many of the other popular BlackBerries were on the high-emitters list.
If there’s another phone you’d like to look up, here is the full list......
Also, when seriously evaluating any smartphone on any of these lists, make sure you click through and look at the EWG page with the details of the phone’s radiation emissions using different connections and doing different activities. The number listed is the maximum radiation rating, but it can be deceiving in some cases until you look at the whole picture.