While the modern world makes great progress with mobile devices and other creature comforts, what is the effect of all this extra exposure to electromagnetic radiation on human fertility? It has come into question whether the technology that keeps our society moving along may also harm human ability to reproduce. Devices that emit electromagnetic radiation have been proven to have a detrimental effect on both male and female fertility, so there is reason for concern.
Cellular telephones, now known as cellphones or smartphones, are a type of mobile phone that’s more common than cordless phones. Cellphones connect to cellular towers on wireless networks like 3G and 4G. Cellphones emit electromagnetic radiation and studies have shown that carrying them in your pocket can negatively affect fertility and the health of sperm. Many people also have opted to use the speaker function on their cellphone to keep it as far away from their ear and head as possible.
Nearly everyone has a cellphone these days, and many households no longer have a landline due to the convenience of cellphones. Cellphones emit radio-frequency radiation (RF is a form of electromagnetic radiation) between 825 and 915 MHz. This can heat human tissue the way microwaves heat food. Cellphone radiation can damage the DNA of cells, resulting in damage to chromosomes, changes in activity of certain genes, increased rate of replication, and more irregular division of cells.
Be thankful for the fact that most people no longer use home landlines but rely on their cellphones instead. Cordless telephones are notoriously unhealthy as they emit the same type of radiation as cellphones – but their base station emits up to twice the amount of RF radiation as a cellphone tower. Radiation emissions for them were tested as high as 6 volts per meter, which is 50 times what scientists declare safe.
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
Wireless mice, keyboards, and speakers all emit the same type of RF radiation as cellphones and cordless phones do – and that’s because they rely on technologies like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to connect to wireless networks and the internet. Studies have revealed that the effects of this type of radiation include DNA damage and inability to self-repair. It also affects the blood-brain barrier, which allows toxins and pollutants to reach the brain – resulting in lowered immunity, cell damage, and changes in brain wave patterns as seen in EEGs. Although there does not exist any data on the long-term effects of wireless radiation, scientists expect the effects to be similar to those from cellular and cordless telephones. Bluetooth dangers are less pronounced than Wi-Fi, as Bluetooth signals are weaker, and far less risky than cellphones.
Laptops and Tablets
Dangers associated with radiation from laptops have not been confirmed, and any concern about radiation from them is more related to heat being emitted. Experts advise placing a barrier on your lap between your body and the laptop to prevent burning or radiation.
Laptops and tablets do not present the same radiation risk as cell or cordless phones do. The type of radiation that newer laptops emit is non-ionizing radiation, which is much less harmful. However, the Wi-Fi connection used with these devices can emit dangerous radiation, so a small barrier device like a laptop stand is recommended.
Tablets emit radiation that does penetrate the human body. Tablets “check in” using a digital handshake every four seconds with their five antennas, and that can create a level of radiation harmful to humans. Tablets are best used placed away from the body or lying on a table.
Testing has revealed that radiation emitted from electric blankets is astronomically high, reaching over 70,000 times acceptable levels. Worse, the emitted radiation can penetrate the human body to a depth of 7 inches, meaning this can affect fetal development in pregnant women.
The radiation from electric blankets also can increase chance of miscarriage, damage to women’s eggs and men’s sperm, and in children can increase leukemia risk. Studies showed that late-term use of electric blankets by pregnant women contributed to spinal cord damage of children in utero.
Radiation Is Here to Stay
Sadly, most of this radiation is here to stay and will likely increase. For couples trying to get pregnant, the best way to deal with it is to become aware of the dangers and take a few steps to minimize the presence and penetration of radiation.
Men should avoid carrying cellphones in a front pocket, or standing next to a cordless telephone base while using it. Texting may be a better option than talking. For any women who are pregnant or want to get pregnant, make sure to keep a distance between your cell or cordless phone and the baby in your belly to minimize risk.
Expert Men’s Fertility Care in Phoenix
If you’re concerned about how your electronics devices could affect your fertility or if you have any other men’s health concerns, board-certified urologist Dr. Desiderio Avila and his staff at Ironwood Urology can help you. Please call us at (480) 961-2323, or schedule your appointment online.