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Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Effects of cellular phone emissions on sperm motility in rats.

Published in: Fertil Steril 2007; 88 (4): 957-964

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To study the effects of mobile phone emissions on rat sperm cells.
Background/further details: Eight rats were exposed to two 3-hour periods of daily mobile phone emissions for 18 weeks; sperm samples were then collected. The sham exposure group also consisted of eight rats.

Endpoint

Exposure

Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 1.9 GHz
Exposure duration: repeated daily exposure, 2 x 3 h/day, for 18 weeks
Exposure 1
Main characteristics
Frequency 1.9 GHz
Type
Exposure duration repeated daily exposure, 2 x 3 h/day, for 18 weeks
Modulation
Modulation type unspecified
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Distance between exposed object and exposure source 1 cm
Chamber The rats were placed in holding units consisting of ventilated 5.1 cm x 15.2 cm PVC tubes fitted with 0.59-liter clear plastic bottle tops on one end and common 7.6-cm bolts with nuts at the other end. As the rats grew larger, new units were made using 8.9-cm PVC tubes, 1-liter bottles, and 10.2-cm bolts with nuts.
Setup Each cell phone was positioned 1 cm from the head of the rats, at equal distances between two rats in holding chambers.
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Additional info Rats were exposed for 3 hours, followed by a 30-minute rest period outside of the tubes and a second exposure for 3 more hours per day.
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
SAR 1.8 W/kg - measured - AMPS
SAR 0.9 W/kg - measured - CELL
SAR 1.18 W/kg - measured - PCS
Additional parameter details
The four cell phones used in the study had a PCS CDMA frequency band of 1.9 GHz (800 MHz digital and 800 MHz analog) and three different modes (AMPS mode, CELL mode, and PCS mode) that can be used based on signal reception, antenna use, and other factors associated with reception of different types of RF signals. The actual exposure is not specified in the article.
Measurement and calculation details
The SAR was measured at a distance of 2.2 cm.
Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated material:
Investigated organ system:
Time of investigation:
  • during exposure
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

No significant differences were found in the number of structural sperm mutations between the experimental and the control groups. The total sperm counts from the testes also were not significantly different between the two groups. However, the relative sperm motility and appearance of the sperm from the epididymis in the exposure group differed from those of the control group. The most striking abnormalities in the exposure group were significantly fewer motile sperm cells and numerous clumps of sperm cells.
In the experimental group, an up-regulation was found in the mRNA levels of the two cell surface adhesion proteins, which would create abnormal adhesion of the sperm cells.
After 3 hours of exposure, mean face temperature of the experimental group did not differ from that of the control group. The rectal temperatures of both groups were identical, even after 6 hours of exposure.
These findings suggest that carrying cell phones near reproductive organs could negatively affect male fertility.
Study character:

Study funded by

  • not stated/no funding

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