You're breakin' my balls! You're breakin' my balls man!

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by madoka, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. madoka macrumors 6502


    Jul 17, 2002

    Keeping a cell phone on talk mode in a pocket can decrease sperm quality, according to new research from the Cleveland Clinic.

    A Cleveland Clinic study shows that mobile phones left on talk mode in a pocket can hurt sperm quality.

    "We believe that these devices are used because we consider them very safe, but it could cause harmful effects due to the proximity of the phones and the exposure that they are causing to the gonads," says lead researcher Ashok Agarwal, the Director of the Center for Reproductive Medicine.

    In the small study, Agarwal's team took semen samples from 32 men and brought them to the lab. Each man's sample was placed into small, conical tubes and divided into two parts: a test group and a control group. The control group was unexposed to cell phone emissions, but kept under the same conditions and temperature as the test group.

    The semen in the test group was placed 2.5 centimeters from an 850 MHz cell phone in talk mode for 1 hour. Researchers say that 850 MHz is the most commonly used frequency.

    They used the measurement of 2.5 centimeters to mimic the distance between the trouser pocket and the testes. Agarwal reasoned that many men keep their active cell phones in their pants pocket while talking on their headsets.

    Overall, researchers found an increase in oxidative stress such as a significant increase in free radicals and oxidants and a decrease in antioxidants. Agarwal says that equals a decrease in sperm's quality, including motility and viability. Evidence of oxidative stress can appear under other conditions, including exposure to certain environmental pollutants or infections in the urinary genital tract.

    "On average, there was an 85 percent increase in the amount of free radicals for all the subjects in the study. Free radicals have been linked to a variety of diseases in humans including cancer," said Agarwal. Free radicals have been linked to decreased sperm quality in previous studies.

    However, the study does have major limitations, he acknowledged, such as the small sample size. It also was conducted in a lab and so cannot account for the protection a human body might offer, such as layers of skin, bone and tissue. Agarwal is in the early stages of further research that can model the human body's role in protecting from radio-frequency electromagnetic waves emitted from cell phones.

    Agarwal also admits that there is no clear explanation of this demonstrated effect, but he shared some of his theories. "Perhaps the cell phone radiation is able to affect the gonads through a thermal effect thereby increasing the temperature of the testes and causing damaging effects in the sperm cell."

    In a previous study, Agarwal and his team found that men who used their cell phones more than four hours a day had significantly lower sperm quality than those who used their cell phones for less time. Those findings were based on self-reported data from 361 subjects.

    While representatives from the cell phone industry had not yet reviewed the latest study, they were careful not to give this study much merit. "The weight of the published scientific evidence, in addition to the opinion of global health organizations, shows that there is no link between wireless usage and adverse health effects," said Joe Farren, a spokesman for the CTIA-the Wireless Association.

    "We support good science and always have," he said. "It's important to look at studies that are peer-reviewed and published in leading journals and to listen to the experts."

    Agarwal emphasized that it is far too early for men to start changing cell phone carrying habits, noting that his own cell phone was in his pocket as he talked to CNN.

    "Our study has not provided proof that you should stop putting cell phones in your pocket. There are many things that need to be proven before we get to that stage," he said.
  2. davidjearly macrumors 68020


    Sep 21, 2006
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Why 2.5cm? That must be some screwed up testicles used in those samples. My testicles are at least 15cm away from my denim pocket. Even further if we are talking about the ass pocket.
  3. GSMiller macrumors 68000


    Dec 2, 2006
    I know, they must've shoved them in their pockets and shifted the pockets right next to the testicles in order for the phones to be just 2.5cm away from them.
  4. Xfujinon macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2007
    Iowa City, Iowa
  5. arkitect macrumors 603


    Sep 5, 2005
    Bath, United Kingdom
    Not even then.
    This study has no bearing on real life… unless I shove the phone down the front of my underwear.
  6. mrwizardno2 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 19, 2007
    Columbus, OH
    So that's what that pouch is for! :D
  7. djellison macrumors 68020

    Feb 2, 2007
    Pasadena CA
    OK - My mobile, if it's on my pocket, is like, 15cm from my meat & two veg (an increase of 6x distance would be a 36x reduction in signal strength - so their 60 minute exposure should be 1min 40s )

    Furtheremore - I DON'T SPEAK OR LISTEN WITH MY BALLS - I tend to use my mouth, and one ear. And people using headsets are usually in their car, with their cell phone on the dash or in a car pocket. Not ON THEIR BALLS.

    Seriously - 2.5cm away from one testicle - is closer than the other testicle. That is NOT where I keep my cell phone.

  8. davidjearly macrumors 68020


    Sep 21, 2006
    Glasgow, Scotland
    This whole most made me laugh out loud! Good job!
  9. BenEndeem macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2008
    These studies are so flawed. I'm certain someone comes up with a hypothesis and then the most unrealistic method to 'prove' themselves right. And besides what do these clowns propose we do with phones if they can't be in close proximity to the body? Hover-phone anyone? Little anti-radiation sleeves to keep them in?

    I never trust things like this, I've never seen one with a conclusive result. You could watch the news one day and they say 'Scientists have found massive benefits of product X' then a few weeks later 'Scientists in another study have found a link between product X and cancer!.
  10. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I just took a ruler, and my mobile phone and balls are a minimum distance of 7 cm apart (from the very outer "sack" to the nearest edge of my mobile phone) when I'm wearing my pajama bottoms, although realistically, I'd say they're around 9-10 cm apart.
  11. MacBass macrumors 6502


    Aug 12, 2005
    La Crosse, WI
    This made my day. So new contraceptive...the Hanes Multi-iPhone Utility Brief - capable of holding 17 iPhones (16 to connect to each other, 1 for legitimate incoming/outgoing calls) and handy concealable sync cable for charging on the go!
  12. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    They need to set up an apparatus that better approximates real-life usage.

    One of the issues (no pun intended) is probably keeping the sperm alive long enough for the tests.
  13. Melrose Suspended


    Dec 12, 2007
    Mine hang right together - if they were 9cm apart I'd be worried. :D

    I tend to believe studies like this. I use a cellphone, but only minimally and never if I can avoid it. Call me paranoid, but if there's any doubt, I'd much rather be safe than sorry (and still be able to have kids when I'm 35 or not have brain cancer in my 40s).

  14. wongulous macrumors 6502a

    Dec 7, 2002
    I'm sure glad I don't need my sperm to be active for any reason... there are plenty of babies being made already in the world.
  15. MrSmith macrumors 68040


    Nov 27, 2003
    So mobile phones destroy brains and sperm. Who needs natural selection?
  16. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    This study might warrant more research in this field, but in no way is it of good enough quality to reach any conclusions.
  17. donga macrumors 6502a


    May 16, 2005
    right. it's like the researchers assume you'll keep your phone in your imaginary crotch/zipper pocket instead of a regular pocket like the rest of us.

    this is another reason not to use a bluetooth headset. i only use it when i'm in the car, but the phone is usually in the central console and not next to my balls

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