NEW DELHI: Cell phones, even when
not in use, can reduce fertility in males by as much as 30 per
cent, a recent study has revealed.
The latest warning comes after the
World Health Organisation said cell phones could cause cancer.
Conducted in Canada by the
Queen's University, the study says that men with poor sperm
quality and less sperm count could have been spending too much
time on cell phones and were being harmed by the electromagnetic
waves emitted by them.
"While cell phone use appears to
increase the level of testosterone circulating in the body, it
may also lead to low sperm quality in terms of motility and
concentration thereby decreasing the chances of fertility," said
Interestingly, the researchers
believe that cell phones may cause damage while in stand-by mode too
as they make regular transmissions to maintain contact with the
nearest radio masts.
So, users should avoid carrying
phones in a belt holster or trousers, and rather carry them in a bag
or a briefcase away from physical contact and absolutely avoid them
when not in use, suggested the study.
Putting the study in an Indian
context, Shivani Sachdev Gour, director and fertility consultant at
Isis fertility clinic in south Delhi, said that about 30 couples
with infertility visit her every month and in around 35-40 per cent
of such cases, it is the male who has the problem.
"Most of the time the reason for
this is unknown. Several postulated reasons related to male
infertility were environmental toxins," said Gour.
"Further research is required on
cell phones being one of the factors because it is a day to day
activity with quite alarming implications," the survey quoted her as
According to the study, the British
government has already advised its citizens to prefer text messages
and hands-free over direct calls to avoid the possible negative