Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Effect of Mobile Phones on Sperm Quality

Diagrammatic representation of various sources of RF EMF exposure effect on brain and testicular organ and deleterious outcomes
(Kesari, Agarwal & Henkel, 2018)

Review Papers

Current progress on the effect of mobile phone radiation on sperm quality: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis of human and animal studies

Gang Yu, Zhiming Bai, Song Chao, Qing Cheng, Gang Wang, Zeping Tang, Sixing Yang. Current progress on the effect of mobile phone radiation on sperm quality: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis of human and animal studies. Environmental Pollution. Published online: 30 March 2021. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2021.116952.

Highlights

• Mobile phone use was related to sperm quality decline of men in some areas.
• Mobile phone RF-EMR directly impaired mature sperm of men in vitro.
• Mobile phone RF-EMR affected some parameters of sperm quality in experiment animals.
• Experiment conditions affected pooled results of animal experiments.
• More studies should be conducted to investigate this issue in new era.

Abstract

Potential suppression of fertility due to mobile phone radiation remains a focus of researchers. We conducted meta-analyses on the effects of mobile phone radiation on sperm quality using recent evidence and propose some perspectives on this issue. Using the MEDLINE/PubMed, Embase, WOS, CENTRAL, and ClinicalTrials.gov databases, we retrieved and screened studies published before December 2020 on the effects of mobile phone use/mobile phone RF-EMR on sperm quality. 

Thirty-nine studies were included. Data quality and general information of the studies were evaluated and recorded. Sperm quality data (density, motility, viability, morphology, and DFI) were compiled for further analyses, and we conducted subgroup, sensitivity, and publication bias analyses. 

The pooled results of human cross-sectional studies did not support an association of mobile phone use and a decline in sperm quality. Different study areas contributed to the heterogeneity of the studies. In East Europe and West Asia, mobile phone use was correlated with a decline in sperm density and motility. Mobile phone RF-EMR exposure could decrease the motility and viability of mature human sperm in vitro. 

The pooled results of animal studies showed that mobile phone RF-EMR exposure could suppress sperm motility and viability. Furthermore, it reduced sperm density in mice, in rats older than 10 weeks, and in rats restrained during exposure. Differences regarding age, modeling method, exposure device, and exposure time contributed to the heterogeneity of animal studies. Previous studies have extensively investigated and demonstrated the adverse effects of mobile phone radiation on sperm. 

In the future, new standardized criteria should be applied to evaluate potential effects of mobile phone RF-EMR dosages. Further sperm-related parameters at the functional and molecular levels as well as changes in biological characteristics of germ cells should be evaluated. Moreover, the impact of mobile phone RF-EMR on individual organs should also be examined.

Conclusion

The results of our meta-analysis indicated that in East Europe and West Asia, mobile phone use is associated with a decline in human sperm density and motility. Mobile phone RF-EMR can reduce motility and viability of mature human sperm in vitro, and it can also reduce sperm motility and viability in male animals and decrease sperm density of sexually mature restrained rats. Some important factors that affect the results of animal experiments are study setup and radiation device as well as age and exposure time. Our study is an extension of previous studies and has scientific value for future studies on effects of mobile phone RF-EMR associated with sperm quality.

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Pooja Negi, Rajeev Singh. Association between reproductive health and nonionizing radiation exposure.  Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine. Published online: 20 Jan 2021. DOI: 10.1080/15368378.2021.1874973.
 

Recently, a decreasing rate of fertility has to be credited to an array of factors such as environmental, health and lifestyle. Male infertility is likely to be affected by the strong exposure to heat and radiations. The most common sources of nonionizing radiations are cell phones, laptops, Wi-Fi and microwave ovens, which may participate to the cause of male infertility. One of the major sources of daily exposure to non-ionizing radiation is mobile phones. A mobile phone is now basically dominating our daily life through better services such as connectivity, smartphone devices. However, the health consequences are linked with their usage are frequently ignored. Constant exposure to non-ionizing radiations produced from a cell phone is one of the possible reasons for growing male infertility. Recently, several studies have shown that cell phone users have altered sperm parameters causing declining reproductive health. Cell phone radiation harms male fertility by affecting the different parameters like sperm motility, sperm count, sperm morphology, semen concentration, morphometric abnormalities, increased oxidative stress along with some hormonal changes. This review is focusing on the prevailing literature from in vitro and in vivo studies suggesting that non-ionizing exposure negatively affects human male infertility.


Negi & Singh, 2021

Conclusion

Generally, the outcome of the studies has indicated that mobile phone usage changes different sperm parameters in both ways in-vitro (human) and in-vivo (animals). Several studies disclose that the exposure to cell phones produces harmful effects on the testes, which may affect sperm motility, sperm number, sperm concentration, and morphology and an increased DNA damage, causing micronuclei formation and reactive oxygen species within the cell. So many evidences showed that exposure from cell phones results in elevated oxidative stress with disintegrated DNA and it is directly and indirectly dependent on the time of cell phone use. Further researches are required to provide strong evidence that the use of mobile phones may disturb sperm and testicular activity. Several evidences suggest that the irregularities reported due to RF-EMF-exposure depend on physical parameters such as utilized RF wavelength, penetration range into the object, and transmission length of the radiation. Unfortunately, existing studies are not able to suggest a true mechanism between the harmful effects of RF-EMF radiation and the male reproductive system. To conclude all of the above, government bodies and agencies should form strong guidelines against cell phone exposure and take preventive actions such as in the usage of mobile phones, preventing chatting, reducing the overall contact time, and holding the gadget away from the groin may be of significant help to people pursuing fertility. Moreover, very limited studies are available on protective actions so far so a large-scale analysis is also required to determine the reproductive parameters.


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Chidiebere Emmanuel Okechukwu. Does the Use of Mobile Phone Affect Male Fertility? A Mini-Review. J Hum Reprod Sci. Jul-Sep 2020;13(3):174-183. doi: 10.4103/jhrs.JHRS_126_19.  

Abstract

Presently, there is a rise in the use of mobile phones, laptops, and wireless internet technologies such as Wi-Fi and 5G routers/modems across the globe; these devices emit a considerable amount of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) which could interact with the male reproductive system either by thermal or nonthermal mechanisms. The aim of this review was to examine the effects of mobile phone use on male fertility. Related studies that reported on the effects of EMR from mobile phones on male fertility from 2003 to 2020 were evaluated. PubMed database was used. The Medical Subject Heading system was used to extract relevant research studies from PubMed. Based on the outcomes of both human and animal studies analyzed in this review, animal and human spermatozoa exposed to EMR emitted by mobile phones had reduced motility, structural anomalies, and increased oxidative stress due to overproduction of reactive oxygen species. Scrotal hyperthermia and increased oxidative stress might be the key mechanisms through which EMR affects male fertility. However, these negative effects appear to be associated with the duration of mobile phone use.

Conclusion

Based on the outcomes of both human and animal studies examined in this review, animal and human spermatozoa exposed to EMR emitted by mobile phones had reduced motility, structural anomalies, and increased oxidative stress due to the production of ROS. Scrotal hyperthermia and increased oxidative stress might be the key mechanisms by which EMR affects male fertility. However, these negative effects appear to be associated with the duration of mobile phone use.


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Jaffar FHF, Osman K, Ismail NH, Chin KY, Ibrahim SF. Adverse Effects of Wi-Fi Radiation on Male Reproductive System: A Systematic Review. Tohoku J Exp Med. 2019;248(3): 169-179. doi: 10.1620/tjem.248.169. (Note: Smartphones emit Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and various types of cellular radiation.)


Abstract

Extensive use of Wi-Fi has contributed to radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) pollution in environment. Various studies have been conducted to evaluate the effect of RF-EMR emitted by Wi-Fi transmitter on male reproduction health. However, there are conflicting findings between studies. Thus, this review aims to elucidate the possible effects of 2.45 GHz Wi-Fi exposure on both animal and human male reproductive system. A computerized database search performed through MEDLINE via Ovid and PUBMED with the following set of keywords: 'Wi-Fi or WiFi or wireless fidelity or Wi-Fi router or WiFi router or electromagnetic or radiofrequency radiation' AND 'sperm or spermatozoa or spermatogenesis or semen or seminal plasma or testes or testis or testosterone or male reproduction' had returned 526 articles. Only 17 studies conformed to pre-set inclusion criterion. Additional records identified through Google Scholar and reviewed article further revealed six eligible articles. A total of 23 articles were used for data extraction, including 15 studies on rats, three studies on mice, and five studies on human health. Sperm count, motility and DNA integrity were the most affected parameters when exposed to RF-EMR emitted by Wi-Fi transmitter. Unfortunately, sperm viability and morphology were inconclusive. Structural and/or physiological analyses of the testes showed degenerative changes, reduced testosterone level, increased apoptotic cells, and DNA damage. These effects were mainly due to the elevation of testicular temperature and oxidative stress activity. In conclusion, exposure towards 2.45 GHz RF-EMR emitted by Wi-Fi transmitter is hazardous on the male reproductive system.

Open access paper: https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/tjem/248/3/248_169/_article

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Kesari KK, Agarwal A, Henkel R. Radiation and male fertility. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2018 Dec 9;16(1):118. doi: 10.1186/s12958-018-0431-1.

Abstract
During recent years, an increasing percentage of male infertility has to be attributed to an array of environmental, health and lifestyle factors. Male infertility is likely to be affected by the intense exposure to heat and extreme exposure to pesticides, radiation, radioactivity and other hazardous substances. We are surrounded by several types of ionizing and non-ionizing radiations and both have recognized causative effects on spermatogenesis. Since it is impossible to cover all types of radiation sources and their biological effects under a single title, this review is focusing on radiation deriving from cell phones, laptops, Wi-Fi and microwave ovens, as these are the most common sources of non-ionizing radiation, which may contribute to the cause of infertility by exploring the effect of exposure to radiofrequency radiation on the male fertility pattern. From currently available studies it is clear that radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) have deleterious effects on sperm parameters (like sperm count, morphology, motility), affects the role of kinases in cellular metabolism and the endocrine system, and produces genotoxicity, genomic instability and oxidative stress. This is followed with protective measures for these radiations and future recommendations. The study concludes that the RF-EMF may induce oxidative stress with an increased level of reactive oxygen species, which may lead to infertility. This has been concluded based on available evidence from in vitro and in vivo studies suggesting that RF-EMF exposure negatively affects sperm quality. 

Ford-Glanton BS, Melendez DA. Male reproductive toxicants: Electromagnetic radiation and heat. Reference Module in Biomedical Sciences, 2018.

Abstract

Human population in today's world lives surrounded by radiofrequency fields (RF) and electromagnetic radiation (EM) fields, transmitting almost all forms of electronic communication and data that humans produce every second. Mobile devices and laptop computers are EMR-emitting devices. The effect of mobile phone emitted radiation and heat on fertility is the subject of recent interest and investigations. Many studies have found a decrease in semen quality which has increased the focus on male reproductive health. Infertility affects approximately 15% of couples of reproductive age, and nearly half of these cases are linked to male fertility (Sharlip et al., 2002). Different harmful environmental influences have led to changes in semen analysis standards by reducing the lower limits of normal ranges, which were declared by the World Health Organization (2010). The possible negative impact of mobile phone radiation on sperm quality has been well established. While no certain conclusions can be drawn from current evidence, a growing number of studies indicate a decrease in male fertility associated with increased cellular phone usage (Agarwal et al., 2011) and laptop computers using Wi-Fi (Avendaño et al., 2012a). Here we review the current evidence regarding the effects of electromagnetic radiation and heat in male fertility.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780128012383645361

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Yahyazadeh A, Deniz OG, Kaplan AA, Altun G, Yurt KK, Davis D. The genomic effects of cell phone exposure on the reproductive system. Environ Res.  2018 Nov;167:684-693. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2018.05.017.


Abstract

Humans are exposed to increasing levels of electromagnetic fields (EMF) at various frequencies as technology advances. In this context, improving understanding of the biological effects of EMF remains an important, high priority issue. Although a number of studies in this issue and elsewhere have focused on the mechanisms of the oxidative stress caused by EMF, the precise understanding of the processes involved remains to be elucidated. Due to unclear results among the studies, the issue of EMF exposure in the literature should be evaluated at the genomic level on the reproductive system. Based on this requirement, a detail review of recently published studies is necessary. The main objectives of this study are to show differences between negative and positive effect of EMF on the reproductive system of animal and human. Extensive review of literature has been made based on well known data bases like Web of Science, PubMed, MEDLINE, Google Scholar, Science Direct, Scopus. This paper reviews the current literature and is intended to contribute to a better understanding of the genotoxic effects of EMF emitted from mobile phones and wireless systems on the human reproductive system, especially on fertility. The current literature reveals that mobile phones can affect cellular functions via non-thermal effects. Although the cellular targets of global system for mobile communications (GSM)-modulated EMF are associated with the cell membrane, the subject is still controversial. Studies regarding the genotoxic effects of EMF have generally focused on DNA damage. Possible mechanisms are related to ROS formation due to oxidative stress. EMF increases ROS production by enhancing the activity of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) oxidase in the cell membrane. Further detailed studies are needed to elucidate DNA damage mechanisms and apoptotic pathways during oogenesis and spermatogenesis in germ cells exposed to EMF.

Conclusion

This paper reviews the current literature and is intended to contribute to a better understanding of the genotoxic effects of EMF emitted from mobile phones and wireless systems on the human reproductive system, especially on fertility. The current literature reveals that mobile phones can affect cellular functions via non-thermal effects (Diem et al., 2005; Hanci et al., 2013 ;  Odaci et al., 2016a). Although the cellular targets of GSM-modulated EMF are associated with the cell membrane, the subject is still controversial (Eberhardt et al., 2008). Studies regarding the genotoxic effects of EMF have generally focused on DNA damage (Mortelmans and Rupa, 2004; Young, 2002; Zeiger, 2004; Panagopoulos, 2012 ;  Turedi et al., 2016). Possible mechanisms are related to ROS formation due to oxidative stress (Moustafa et al., 2004; Hanukoglu et al., 2006). EMF increases ROS production by enhancing the activity of NADH oxidase in the cell membrane (Friedman et al., 2007b). In this context, EMF affected spermatozoa may have a high degree rate of infertilization. It seems that previous genomic studies do not show definitive evidence regarding EMF affected cells in the fertilization. Although we evaluated broadly the genomic effects of cell phone exposure on the reproductive system using both animal and human studies, one of the weaknesses of this work is insufficient review of human studies. This may come from limited number of EMF based human studies in the literature. Further detailed studies are needed to elucidate DNA damage mechanisms and apoptotic pathways during oogenesis and spermatogenesis in germ cells that are exposed to EMF.


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29884549


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Altun G, Deniz OG, Yurt KK, Davis D, Kaplan S. Effects of mobile phone exposure on metabolomics in the male and female reproductive systems. Environ Res. 2018 Nov;167:700-707. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2018.02.031. 

Highlights


• Long-term exposure to EMF decreases sperm motility and fertilization.
• Effects of EMF emitted from mobile phones are related to protein synthesis.
• Oxidative stress based EMF exposure modulates nitric oxide level in the germ cells.
• Oxidative stress based EMF exposure inhibits antioxidant mechanisms in the germ cells.


Abstract

With current advances in technology, a number of epidemiological and experimental studies have reported a broad range of adverse effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF) on human health. Multiple cellular mechanisms have been proposed as direct causes or contributors to these biological effects. EMF-induced alterations in cellular levels can activate voltage-gated calcium channels and lead to the formation of free radicals, protein misfolding and DNA damage. Because rapidly dividing germ cells go through meiosis and mitosis, they are more sensitive to EMF in contrast to other slower-growing cell types. In this review, possible mechanistic pathways of the effects of EMF exposure on fertilization, oogenesis and spermatogenesis are discussed. In addition, the present review also evaluates metabolomic effects of GSM-modulated EMFs on the male and female reproductive systems in recent human and animal studies. In this context, experimental and epidemiological studies which examine the impact of mobile phone radiation on the processes of oogenesis and spermatogenesis are examined in line with current approaches.

Conclusion

EMF emitted by mobile phones has a number of well-documented adverse metabolomic effects on the male and female reproductive systems and can lead to infertility by increasing ROS production and reducing GSH and other antioxidants. The primary target of the EMF emitted by mobile phones may be the cell membrane (Pall in press, this volume). This then results in accelerated activity of membrane NADH oxidase and, consequently, greater rates of ROS formation that cannot be easily conjugated or detoxified. Although many studies have reported morphological and functional deteriorations in testis and ovary following EMF exposures, as well both structural and functional deficits in reproductive health, the underlying mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. To assist in further clarification of these processes and mechanisms, Table 1 summarizes key studies on the metabolomic effects of EMF on reproductive systems. Future studies will benefit greatly from standardized exposure protocols and evaluations of key metabolomic indicators.


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Sepehrimanesh, M. & Davis, D.L. Proteomic impacts of electromagnetic fields on the male reproductive system. Comp Clin Pathol. 26(2):309-313. 2017. doi:10.1007/s00580-016-2342-x. 

Abstract

The use of mobile phones and other wireless transmitting devices is increasing dramatically in developing and developed countries, as is the rate of infertility. A number of respected infertility clinics in Australia, India, USA, and Iran are reporting that those who regularly use mobile phones tend to have reduced sperm quantity and quality. Some experimental studies have found that human sperm exposed to electromagnetic fields (EMF), either simulated or from mobile phones, developed biomarkers of impaired structure and function, as well as reduced quantity. These encompass pathological, endocrine, and proteomic changes. Proteins perform a vast array of functions within living organisms, and the proteome is the entire array of proteins—the ultimate biomolecules in the pathways of DNA transcription to translation. Proteomics is the art and science of studying all proteins in cells, using different techniques. This paper reviews proteomic experimental and clinical evidence that EMF acts as a male-mediated teratogen and contributor to infertility.

Conclusions

As among the most rapidly proliferating human cells, spermatogenesis and associated activities offer an important endpoint for evaluation. More than 60 different compounds or industrial processes have been identified as increasing defects in human sperm or testicular tissue and possibly increasing the risk to offspring from male-mediated exposures. In this study, we reviewed structural and functional proteomic changes related to EMF exposure. Reported changes are categorized based on main affected tissue and also the most important adverse effects. Overall, these results demonstrate significant effects of radio frequency-modulated EMF exposure on the proteome, including both structural and functional impacts such as a decrease in the diameter and weight of the seminiferous tubules and the mean height of the germinal epithelium (Ozguner et al. 2005) and/or pathological and physiological changes in key biochemical components of the testicular tissues (Luo et al. 2013). These structural and functional changes may account for the pathological impact of EMF on the male reproductive system reported in the experimental work that we and others have conducted. While EMF is currently being used for a number of therapeutic applications (REF), the work we have reviewed here clearly indicates a range of harmful effects, especially on genital systems.

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00580-016-2342-x

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Houston B, Nixon B, King BV, De Iuliis G, Aitken RJ. The effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation on sperm function. Reproduction. 2016 Dec;152(6):R263-R276. 

Abstract

Mobile phone usage has become an integral part of our lives. However, the effects of the radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) emitted by these devices on biological systems and specifically the reproductive systems are currently under active debate. A fundamental hindrance to the current debate is that there is no clear mechanism of how such non-ionising radiation influences biological systems. Therefore, we explored the documented impacts of RF-EMR on the male reproductive system and considered any common observations that could provide insights on a potential mechanism. 

Among a total of 27 studies investigating the effects of RF-EMR on the male reproductive system, negative consequences of exposure were reported in 21. Within these 21 studies, 11 of the 15 that investigated sperm motility reported significant declines, 7 of 7 that measured the production of reactive oxygen species documented elevated levels and 4 of 5 studies that probed for DNA damage highlighted increased damage, due to RF-EMR exposure. Associated with this, RF-EMR treatment reduced antioxidant levels in 6 of 6 studies that studied this phenomenon, while consequences of RF-EMR were successfully ameliorated with the supplementation of antioxidants in all 3 studies that carried out these experiments. 

In light of this, we envisage a two-step mechanism whereby RF-EMR is able to induce mitochondrial dysfunction leading to elevated ROS production. 

A continued focus on research which aims to shed light on the biological effects of RF-EMR will allow us to test and assess this proposed mechanism in a variety of cell types.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27601711

Conclusion

To date, contradictory studies surrounding the impacts of RF-EMR on biological systems maintain controversy over this subject. Nevertheless, research into the biological responses stimulated by RF-EMR is particularly important given our ever-increasing use of mobile phone technology. While clinical studies are identifying possible detrimental effects of RF-EMR, it is imperative that mechanistic studies are conducted that elucidate the manner in which RF-EMR perturbs biological function, thus supplying a rational cause. A focus on the male reproductive system may experience as consequences of the personal storage of mobile devices, the unique vulnerability of the highly specialised sperm cell, and the future health burden that may be created if conception proceeds with defective, DNA-damaged spermatozoa. While this subject remains a topic of active debate, this review has considered the growing body of evidence suggesting a possible role for RF-EMR induced damage of the male germ line. In a majority of studies, this damage has been characterized by loss of sperm motility and viability as well as the induction of ROS generation and DNA damage. We have therefore given consideration to the potential mechanisms through which RF-EMR may elicit these effects on spermatozoa, which we utilized as a sensitive model system. We propose a mechanistic model in which RF-EMR exposure leads to defective mitochondrial function associated with elevated levels of ROS production and culminates in a state of oxidative stress that would account the varying phenotypes observed in response to RF-EMR exposure. With further complementary data, this model will provide new impetus to the field and stimulate research that will allow us to confidently assess the reproductive hazards of mobile phone usage.

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Adams JA, Galloway TS, Mondal D, Esteves SC, Mathews F. Effect of mobile telephones on sperm quality: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Environ Int.  2014 Sep;70:106-12. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2014.04.015.

Summary 

Mobile phones are owned by most of the adult population worldwide. Radio-frequency radiation (RFR) from these devices could affect sperm development and function. Around 14% of couples in high- and middle-income countries have difficulty conceiving. Male infertility is involved approximately 40% of the time. Several countries have reported unexplained declines in semen quality.
Animal research has found that RFR can affect the cell cycle of sperm, increase sperm cell death and produce histological changes in the testes. Research on humans has found that prolonged mobile phone use is associated with decreased motility, sperm concentration, morphology and viability suggesting a likely impact on fertility.

The authors of this peer-reviewed study conducted a systematic review of the research and a quantitative analysis to determine whether exposure to mobile phone radiation affects human sperm quality. Participants were from fertility clinics and research centers.

The study examined the sperm quality outcome measures most frequently used to assess fertility in clinical settings: motility (the ability to move properly through the female reproductive tract), viability (the ability to fertilize the egg), and concentration (the number of sperm in a milliliter of ejaculate).

Ten studies were examined including 1,492 human sperm samples. Exposure to mobile phones was found to be associated with a significant eight per cent average reduction in sperm motility and a significant nine per cent average reduction in sperm viability. The effects on sperm concentration were more equivocal. The results were consistent across experimental laboratory studies and correlational observational studies.

The authors concluded that the overall results suggest that mobile phone exposure negatively affects sperm quality in humans. The clinical importance of these effects  in this study may be limited to subfertile men and to men at the lower-end of the normal spectrum.
Open access paper: http://bit.ly/cellphonespermdamage.

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Liu K, Li Y, Zhang G, Liu J, Cao J, Ao L, Zhang S. 
Association between mobile phone use and semen quality: a systemic review and meta-analysis. Andrology. 2014 Jul;2(4):491-501.

Abstract

Possible hazardous health effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiations emitted from mobile phone on the reproductive system have raised public concern in recent years. This systemic review and meta-analysis was prepared following standard procedures of the Cochrane Collaboration and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement and checklist. Relevant studies published up to May 2013 were identified from five major international and Chinese literature databases: Medline/PubMed, EMBASE, CNKI, the VIP database and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials in the Cochrane Library. Eighteen studies with 3947 men and 186 rats were included in the systemic review, of which 12 studies (four human studies, four in vitro studies and four animal studies) with 1533 men and 97 rats were used in the meta-analyses. Systemic review showed that results of most of the human studies and in vitro laboratory studies indicated mobile phone use or radiofrequency exposure had negative effects on the various semen parameters studied. However, meta-analysis indicated that mobile phone use had no adverse effects on semen parameters in human studies. In the in vitro studies, meta-analysis indicated that radiofrequency radiation had detrimental effect on sperm motility and viability in vitro [pooled mean difference (MDs) (95% CI): -4.11 (-8.08, -0.13), -3.82 (-7.00, -0.65) for sperm motility and viability respectively]. As for animal studies, radiofrequency exposure had harmful effects on sperm concentration and motility [pooled MDs (95% CI): -8.75 (-17.37, -0.12), -17.72 (-32.79, -2.65) for sperm concentration and motility respectively]. Evidence from current studies suggests potential harmful effects of mobile phone use on semen parameters. A further multicentred and standardized study is needed to assess the risk of mobile phone use on the reproductive system.


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24700791


Recent Studies (Updated: 10/13/2020)

Abeer M. Hagras, Eman A. Toraih, Manal S. Fawzy. Mobile phones electromagnetic radiation and NAD+-dependent Isocitrate Dehydrogenase as a mitochondrial marker in Asthenozoospermia. Biochimie Open. Available online July 25, 2016. http://bit.ly/2b69gh9

Adams JA, Galloway TS, Mondal D, Esteves SC, Mathews F. Effect of mobile telephones on sperm quality: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Environment International70:106-112. September 2014. http://bit.ly/cellphonespermdamage

Agarwal A, Deepinder F, Sharma RK, Ranga G, Li J. Effect of cell phone usage on semen analysis in men attending infertility clinic: an observational study. Fertil Steril. 2008 Jan;89(1):124-8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17482179

Agarwal A, Desai NR, Makker K, Varghese A, Mouradi R, Sabanegh E, Sharma R. Effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic waves (RF-EMW) from cellular phones on human ejaculated semen: an in vitro pilot study. Fertil Steril. 2009;92(4):1318-25. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18804757

Agarwal A, Singh A, Hamada A, Kesari K. Cell phones and male infertility: a review of recent innovations in technology and consequences.Int Braz J Urol. 2011; 37(4):432-54. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21888695


Akdag MZ, Dasdag S, Canturk F, Karabulut D, Caner Y, Adalier N. Does prolonged radiofrequency radiation emitted from Wi-Fi devices induce DNA damage in various tissues of rats? J Chem Neuroanat. 2016 Jan 8. http://1.usa.gov/1RjkMVb

Al-Bayyari N. Middle East Fertility Society Journal.  The effect of cell phone usage on semen quality and fertility among Jordanian males. Published online Apr 7, 2017. http://bit.ly/2pfcO6L

Al-Quzwini OF, Al-Taee, Al-Shaikh SF. Male fertility and its association with occupational and mobile phone towers hazards: An analytic study. Middle East Fertility Society Journal. 2016 Apr 8. http://bit.ly/1SRUWWs

Bin-Meferij MM, El-Kott AF. The radioprotective effects of Moringa oleifera against mobile phone electromagnetic radiation-induced infertility in rats.Int J Clin Exp Med. 2015 Aug 15;8(8):12487-97. http://1.usa.gov/1MURLR1

Boga A, Emre M, Sertdemir Y, Uncu İ, Binokay S, Demirhan O. Effects of GSM-like radiofrequency irradiation during the oogenesis and spermiogenesis of Xenopus laevis. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2016 Mar 24;129:137-144. http://1.usa.gov/1VQh4pP

Çetkin M, Kızılkan N, Demirel C, Bozdağ Z, Erkılıç S, Erbağcı H. Quantitative changes in testicular structure and function in rat exposed to mobile phone radiation. Andrologia. 2017 Jan 26. http://bit.ly/2jIxlyh

Fatehi D, Anjomshoa M, Mohammadi M, Seify M, Rostamzadeh A. Biological effects of cell-phone radiofrequency waves exposure on fertilization in mice; an in vivo and in vitro study. Middle East Fertility Society Journal. 23 October 2017. http://bit.ly/2iUT4Yd

Ford-Glanton BS, Melendez BA. Male Reproductive Toxicants: Electromagnetic Radiation and Heat. Reference Module in Biomedical Sciences. 2018. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-801238-3.64536-1.

Gautam R, Singh KV, Nirala J, Murmu NN, Meena R, Rajamani P. Oxidative stress-mediated alterations on sperm parameters in male Wistar rats exposed to 3G mobile phone radiation. Andrologia. 2019 Apr 51(3):e13201. http://bit.ly/2PT5dwg

Gao XH, Hu HR, Ma X2, Chen J, Zhang GH. [Cellphone electromagnetic radiation damages the testicular ultrastructure of male rats]. [Article in Chinese].  Zhonghua Nan Ke Xue. 2016 Jun;22(6):491-495. http://bit.ly/2ywyJig

Gohari FA, Saranjam B, Asgari M, Omidi L, Ekrami H, Moussavi-Najarkola SA. An experimental study of the effects of combined exposure to microwave and heat on gene expression and sperm parameters in mice. J Hum Reprod Sci. 2017 Apr-Jun;10(2):128-134. http://bit.ly/2EpfWVM

Hancı H, Kerimoğlu G, Mercantepe T, Odacı E. Changes in testicular morphology and oxidative stress biomarkers in 60-day-old Sprague Dawley rats following exposure to continuous 900-MHz electromagnetic field for 1 h a day throughout adolescence. Reprod Toxicol. 2018 Oct;81:71-78. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30009952

Houston B, Nixon B, King BV, De Iuliis G, Aitken RJ. The effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation on sperm function. Reproduction. 2016 Sep 6. pii: REP-16-0126. http://bit.ly/2cJJ2pE

Houston BJ, Nixon B, King BV, Aitken RJ, De Iuliis GN. Probing the origins of 1,800 MHz radio frequency electromagnetic radiation induced damage in mouse immortalized germ cells and spermatozoa in vitro. Front. Public Health. 2018 Sep 21. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2018.00270

Houston BJ, Nixon B, McEwan KE, Martin JH, King BV, Aitken RJ, De Iuliis GN. Whole-body exposures to radiofrequency-electromagnetic energy can cause DNA damage in mouse spermatozoa via an oxidative mechanism. Sci Rep. 2019 Nov 25;9(1):17478. 
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-53983-9

Kamali K, Atarod M, Sarhadi S, Nikbakht J, Emami M, Maghsoudi R, Salimi H, Fallahpour B, Kamali N, Momtazan A, Ameli M. Effects of electromagnetic waves emitted from 3G+wi-fi modems on human semen analysis. Urologia. 2017 Sep 14:0. 
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28967061

Lewis RC, Mínguez-Alarcón L, Meeker JD, Williams PL, Mezei G, Ford JB, Hauser R; EARTH Study Team.Self-reported mobile phone use and semen parameters among men from a fertility clinic. Reprod Toxicol. 2016 Nov 9. pii: S0890-6238(16)30408-7. http://bit.ly/2fV0DuM 
(Note: Authors report conflict of interest and limited statistical power to detect effects.)

Li R, Yang WQ, Chen HQ, Zhang YH. Morinda Officinalis How improves cellphone radiation-induced abnormality of LH and LHR in male rats. Article in Chinese.  2015 Sep;21(9):824-7. http://bit.ly/1Sn6Qsy

Lin YY, Wu T, Liu JY, Gao P, Li KC, Guo QY, Yuan M, Lang HY, Zeng LH, Guo GZ. 1950 MHz radio frequency electromagnetic radiation inhibits testosterone secretion of mouse Leydig cells. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017 Dec 23;15(1).  http://bit.ly/2CV3VKc

Liu Q, Si T, Xu X, Liang F, Wang L, Pan S. Electromagnetic radiation at 900 MHz induces sperm apoptosis through bcl-2, bax and caspase-3 signaling pathways in rats. Reprod Health. 2015; 12:65. http://bit.ly/2hhk9mF

Ma HR, Cao XH, Ma XL, Chen JJ, Chen JW, Yang H, Liu YX. [Protective effect of Liuweidihuang Pills against cellphone electromagnetic radiation-induced histomorphological abnormality, oxidative injury, and cell apoptosis in rat testes]. Zhonghua Nan Ke Xue. 2015 Aug;21(8):737-41. [Article in Chinese]. http://1.usa.gov/1MtbdCM 

Nakatani-Enomoto S, Okutsu M, Suzuki S et al. Effects of 1950 MHz W-CDMA-like signal on human spermatoza. Bioelectromagnetics. 11 Jun 2016. http://bit.ly/28L7nE5

Narayanan SN, Lukose ST, Arun G, Mohapatra N, Pamala J, Concessao PL, Jetti R, Kedage V, Nalini K, Bhat PG. Modulatory effect of 900 MHz radiation on biochemical and reproductive parameters in rats. Bratisl Lek Listy. 2018;119(9):581-587. http://bit.ly/2pxJx9B

Odaci E, Hanci H, Yuluğ E, Türedi S, Aliyazıcıoğlu Y, Kaya H, Çolakoğlu S.Effects of prenatal exposure to a 900 MHz electromagnetic field on 60-day-old rat testis and epididymal sperm quality. Biotech Histochem. 2015 Oct 15:1-11. http://1.usa.gov/1LB2jyE

Oh JJ, Byun SS, Lee SE, Choe G, Hong SK. Effect of Electromagnetic Waves from Mobile Phones on Spermatogenesis in the Era of 4G-LTE. Biomed Res Int. 2018 Jan 29;2018:1801798. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5896334/

Oyewopo AO, Olaniyi SK, Oyewopo CI, Jimoh AT. Radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation from cell phone causes defective testicular function in male Wistar rats. Andrologia. 2017 Mar 6. http://bit.ly/2lZ1rP1

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Wednesday, March 24, 2021

New review study finds that heavier cell phone use increases tumor risk

Cellular Phone Use and Risk of Tumors: Is ICNIRP "war-gaming the science"?

The Telecom industry has been "war-gaming the science" since 1994 (Microwave News, January/February 1997; p. 13). In 2019, Investigate Europe, a team of journalists, published 22 news articles in eight countries that alleged the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) has serious conflicts of interest. Moreover, these journalists reported that in order to defend ICNIRP's weak radio frequency (RF) exposure limits which are widely promoted by the World Health Organization, members of ICNIRP have been actively engaged in a campaign to undermine the credibility of peer-reviewed science that finds low-intensity RF radiation is harmful (http://bit.ly/ICNIRPcoi).

Last November my colleagues and I published a systematic review and meta-analysis of the case-control research on mobile phone use and tumor risk in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH) (Choi et al., 2020). This study updated our earlier meta-analysis which was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (Myung et al., 2009). The takeaway message from our new study is we found evidence that linked cellular phone use to increased tumor risk. Based on our meta-analysis, 1,000 or more hours of cell phone use, or about 17 minutes per day over 10 years, was associated with a statistically significant 60% increase in brain tumor risk.

Shortly after our paper was published by IJERPH, de Vocht and Röösli (2021) submitted a letter to the editor that criticized our paper. Martin Röösli is one of the 14 members of the ICNIRP Commission.

My colleagues and I drafted a comprehensive reply that debunked the largely specious claims made by de Vocht and Röösli. The journal submitted the letter and our reply to peer review.

The two reviewers agreed with us that the de Vocht and Röösli letter made untenable arguments. Moreover, one reviewer called the letter a "scientifically unfounded attack on the Hardell group studies." He also noted that, "Röösli does not report his membership in ICNIRP as a potential conflict of interest."

The journal's editors decided not to publish the letter due to the two negative peer reviews. Although we understood there was no point in publishing our reply to an unpublished letter, we were disappointed since we had devoted considerable time in writing our response to the letter.

Then, this February a second letter attacking our review paper was submitted to IJERPH. The senior author of this letter, Ken Karipidis, is also a current member of the ICNIRP Commission. Although this letter was shorter, it contained unfounded claims similar to those which appeared in the first letter. Since we did not want to waste our time only to experience the same outcome again, we asked the editor to have the second letter peer-reviewed and decide whether to publish the letter before we prepared a reply.

Instead, the journal decided to ignore the two negative peer reviews of the first letter and publish the de Vocht and Röösli letter along with our reply. The journal also published the peer reviewers' comments.

I believe the journal made the right decision to bring into the light of day the "unfounded" claims of de Vocht and Röösli's letter. These allegations have been part of a long-term "whisper campaign" to discredit the work of a long-standing critic of ICNIRP. Hopefully, our reply and the peer reviewers' comments will put an end to this slander.

Links to these open-access documents appear below.

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Cellular Phone Use and Risk of Tumors: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Yoon-Jung Choi+, Joel M. Moskowitz+, Seung-Kwon Myung*, Yi-Ryoung Lee, Yun-Chul Hong*. Cellular Phone Use and Risk of Tumors: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020, 17(21), 8079; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218079.

Abstract

We investigated whether cellular phone use was associated with increased risk of tumors using a meta-analysis of case-control studies. PubMed and EMBASE were searched from inception to July 2018. The primary outcome was the risk of tumors by cellular phone use, which was measured by pooling each odds ratio (OR) and its 95% confidence interval (CI). In a meta-analysis of 46 case-control studies, compared with never or rarely having used a cellular phone, regular use was not associated with tumor risk in the random-effects meta-analysis. However, in the subgroup meta-analysis by research group, there was a statistically significant positive association (harmful effect) in the Hardell et al. studies (OR, 1.15—95% CI, 1.00 to 1.33— n = 10), a statistically significant negative association (beneficial effect) in the INTERPHONE-related studies (case-control studies from 13 countries coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC); (OR, 0.81—95% CI, 0.75 to 0.89—n = 9), and no statistically significant association in other research groups’ studies. Further, cellular phone use with cumulative call time more than 1000 hours statistically significantly increased the risk of tumors. This comprehensive meta-analysis of case-control studies found evidence that linked cellular phone use to increased tumor risk.

+Contributed equally to this study as the first author.    *Correspondence.

https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/17/21/8079

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Comment on Choi, Y.-J., et al. Cellular Phone Use and Risk of Tumors: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Frank de Vocht, Martin Röösli. Comment on Choi, Y.-J., et al. Cellular Phone Use and Risk of Tumors: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3125; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063125


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Reply to Comment on Choi, Y.-J., et al. Cellular Phone Use and Risk of Tumors: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Seung-Kwon Myung, Joel M. Moskowitz, Yoon-Jung Choi, Yun-Chul Hong. Reply to Comment on Choi, Y.-J., et al. Cellular Phone Use and Risk of Tumors: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3326; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063326.


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Peer-Review Record

Frank de Vocht, Martin Röösli. Comment on Choi, Y.-J., et al. Cellular Phone Use and Risk of Tumors: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3125; https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/18/6/3125/review_report.

Excerpts from Reviewer 1:

"The claim by Vocht and Röösli that you cannot combine studies aimed at different tumor types is not tenable. A large part of the epidemiology literature studies a relation between one agent and one tumor, mostly because of methodological issues. It is work-intensive to obtain and purify reliable hygiene and tumor data, and focusing on a fraction of the problem decreases costs, while increasing data reliability, and the chance of coming up with useable results."

"The last phrase in Vocht and Röösli's letter is quizzical: "Important, over time, the evidence had reduced the uncertainty regarding the cancer risk of mobile phone use." What does this mean? Has the evidence of harm from EMR become stronger, or weaker? If they Vocht and Röösli believe the evidence of harm is stronger, congratulations to them. If they believe the evidence of harm is weaker, they have not read the National Toxicology Program or Ramazzini Institute studies (reference 33 and 34 of Reply). In such a case, their views are prisoners of the distant past. I would rather eat Choi's fruit salad than Vocht and Roosli's moldy dish."
Excerpts from Reviewer 2:

Re: Comment by de Vocht and Roosli:

"This seems to be a scientifically unfounded attack on the Hardell group studies on this issue. Thus it is not suitable to be published in a scientific journal but should be rejected. There are many statements that are not qualified according to published studies. Inclusion of references is selective without a comprehensive review of the consistent pattern of increased risk."

"Finally Röösli does not report his membership in ICNIRP as a potential conflict of interest.

It should be noted that the Ethical Board at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden concluded already in 2008 that being a member of ICNIRP may be a conflict of interest that should be stated officially whenever a member from ICNIRP makes opinions on health risks from EMF on behalf of another organization, as in this case (Karolinska Institute Diary Number 3753-2008-609)."

Re: Reply by Myung et al

"This is a well-balanced reply. The statements are adequate based on the scientific literature on this issue.

There are no further comments on the reply."




February 20, 2021

That the National Cancer Center of South Korea has now decided to issue a press release in Korean and English promoting the results of our study published last November seems significant because the telecom industry in South Korea is very powerful.

Study finds increased risks of tumors from long-term use of cellular phones

English Language Press Release, Feb 20, 2021

By Professor Seung-Kwon Myung, MD, PhD, Dean of National Cancer Center Graduate School of Cancer Science and Policy, South Korea (Corresponding author)

-       Meta-analysis led by Prof. Seung-Kwon Myung of National Cancer Center in Korea in collaboration with research teams from Seoul National University and UC Berkeley

-          A new research finding showed if you use a cellular phone longer, then the risks of benign and malignant tumors would increase.

-          The National Cancer Center in Korea announced this finding from the meta-analysis of case-control studies published from 1999 to 2015, which was conducted by Professor Seung-Kwon Myung (Dean of the National Cancer Center Graduate School of Cancer Science and Policy; MD, PhD, Board-certified Family Physician) in collaboration with research groups from the Department of Preventive Medicine, Seoul National University (Professor Yun-Chul Hong and Dr. Yoon-Jung Choi) and the Center for Family and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley (Director, Dr. Joel M. Moskowitz).

-          The research team led by Prof. Seung-Kwon Myung performed a meta-analysis of a total of 46 case-control studies searched from the two databases, PubMed and EMBASE. In the meta-analysis of all studies, compared with never or rarely having used a cellular phone, regular use was not associated with tumor risk in the random-effects meta-analysis. However, in the subgroup meta-analysis by research group, there was a statistically significant positive association (harmful effect) in the Hardell et al. studies (odds ratio* = 1.15, 95% confidence interval = 1.00 to 1.33), a statistically significant negative association (beneficial effect) in the INTERPHONE-related studies (multi-national case-control studies coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer; odds ratio = 0.81, 95% confidence interval = 0.75 to 0.89), and no statistically significant association in other research groups’ studies. Further, cellular phone use with cumulative call time more than 1,000 hours statistically significantly increased the risk of tumors (odds ratio = 1.60, 95% confidence interval = 1.12 to 2.30). This comprehensive meta-analysis of case-control studies found evidence that linked cellular phone use to increased tumor risk.

-          In 2009, Prof. Seung-Kwon Myung, the lead author of the new study already reported that the use of cellular phones could increase the risk of tumors in the meta-analysis of 23 case-control studies published in Journal of Clinical Oncology, which is one of the top scientific journal in the oncology field. Since then, the World Health Organization/International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) as "possibly carcinogenic to humans" (Group 2B) based on the evidence from literature. This recent research updated the findings from the meta-analysis of subsequently published observational studies for another 10 years.

-          “This study supports the research findings from several laboratory studies and animal studies that exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) emitted from cellular phones (ranging from 800 to 2,000 MHz, which fall in the microwave spectrum) promote the development of cancer,” said Prof. Myung.

-          “When we combined all 46 studies, there was no association between the use of cellular phone use and the risk of tumors. Interestingly, however, when we performed the subgroup analysis by type of study group, different findings were obtained. All of the published studies for the past 20 years can be classified into three groups: Hardell et al’s studies from Sweden, the INTERPHONE studies (multi-national case-control studies coordinated by WHO/IARC), and other studies. In the subgroup meta-analysis by type of study group, Hardell et al’s studies showed a harmful effect of cellular phone use on tumor risk, the INTERPHONE studies appeared to have a beneficial effect, and other studies found no significant association,” stated Prof. Myung regarding the different findings by study group.

-          “We identified that the reasons for the discrepancies in findings among the study groups were related to the quality of the study (high vs. low), difference in response rates of study participants to a research questionnaire (smaller vs. larger, by about 15%), and funding sources (cellular phone industry funding vs. not funded). The Hardell studies were not funded by the cellular phone industry, mostly had high quality, mostly reported high response rates (>70%) with smaller differences in response rates between the case group and the control group. On the contrary, all of the INTERPHONE studies were partly funded by the cellular phone industry (precisely, supported by funding from the International Union against Cancer, which received funds from the Mobile Manufacturers’ Forum and Global System for Mobile Communications Association) except for the INTERPHONE-Japan studies; most studies had low quality and larger differences in response rates between the case group and the control group. Thus, Hardell et al’s findings that cellular phone use increases tumor risk are more plausible than those from the INTERPHONE studies,” explained Prof. Myung.

-          “This meta-analysis included only case-control studies, which might have some important biases such as selection bias and recall bias leading to a distortion of facts. Thus, we need to confirm our findings through further prospective cohort studies giving us a higher level of evidence. Nevertheless, based on the ‘precautionary principle’, until the harms of cellular phone use are confirmed in the future, I recommend to use a cellular phone less, avoid its use in elevators and cars where electromagnetic waves are emitted a lot, and use wired earphones or earbuds or keep your cellphone at least 2-3 centimeters or 1 inch away from your head,” emphasized Prof. Myung.

-          This research was published in the journal, International Journal of Environment Research and Public Health in November, 2020.

-          Article link: http://bit.ly/cellphonetumor

*Odd ratio and 95% confidence interval: An odds ratio is a statistic that quantifies the strength of the association between two events, A and B. In this study, A is ‘use of cellular phones’, and B is ‘risk of tumors’. If the odds ratio is greater than 1, the use of cellular phones increases the risk of tumors. If the odds ratio is less than 1, the use of cellular phones decreases the risk of tumors. If a 95% confidence interval includes ‘1’, it means that there is no statistically significant difference, whereas if it doesn’t include ‘1’, it means that there is a statistically significant difference. For example, because 95% confidence intervals from both Hardell et al and the INTERPHONE studies don’t include ‘1’ (1.00 from Hardell et al’s confidence interval is actually 1.00x, which is greater than 1), there is a statistically significant difference, which means that their odds ratios indicate statistically significantly increased or decreased risks of tumors, respectively.

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February 15, 2021

“The longer the cell phone is used, the higher the risk of cancer.”

Song Soo-yeon, Youth Doctor Newsletter, February 15, 2021     (Google translation from Korean)

National Cancer Center Professor Seung-kwon Myung's team, joint research with Seoul Medical University and UC Berkeley meta-analysis

Research shows that using a mobile phone for a long time increases the risk of developing cancer such as brain tumors.

Prof. Seung-Kwon Myung (President of Graduate School) of National Cancer Center, Professor of Preventive Medicine, Seoul Medical University, and Joel Moskowitz, Director of Center for Family and Community Health, UC Berkeley School of Public Health. It was revealed on the 15th that the meta-analysis of 46 case-control studies published in international journals from 1999 to 2015 revealed the result.

As a result of a meta-analysis of 46 research papers through literature search in the major medical databases, PUBMed and EMBASE, the researchers found the relationship between people who use mobile phones and those who do not did not make a big difference.

However, the results of detailed meta-analysis by major research groups and qualitative levels were different. Sweden's Hardell team, who published the most research on the subject, announced that the use of mobile phones increases the risk of developing tumors.

From left: Corresponding author Seung-kwon Myung, Professor of National Cancer Center, co-first author Dr. Joel Moskowitz, co-author Hong Yun-cheol, Seoul Medical University professor, and first author Choi Yoon-jung, Ph.
From left: Corresponding author Seung-kwon Myung, Professor of National Cancer Center, co-first author Dr. Joel Moskowitz, co-author Hong Yun-cheol, Seoul Medical University professor, and first author Choi Yoon-jung, Ph.D.

Professor Myung, who led the study, emphasized, "This study supports the results of some laboratory and animal studies that show that high-frequency electromagnetic fields (frequency 800-2000 MHz) exposed when using mobile phones can accelerate cancer development."

He said, “As a result of analyzing the reasons for the differences in the results of each research team, it was possible to confirm that the quality of the research, the response rate of the research subjects, and the availability of research funding from the mobile phone company were important factors.” The quality of the study is high, there is little difference in response rate between the patient group and the control group, while research funding is not provided from a mobile phone company, a multinational interphone study organized by the International Cancer Research Organization (IARC) under the World Health Organization The team's research was of low quality, there was a lot of difference in response rate, and the research funding was provided by mobile phone companies.”

He said, “The results of the Hardell research team's research that the use of mobile phones increases the risk of tumors can be interpreted as more convincing,” he said. “Moreover, regardless of the research team, the case of using a mobile phone for more than 1,000 hours* the tumor risk was statistically significantly higher (interval ratio 1.60, 95% confidence interval 1.12-2.30)”.

He continued, “Even before the dangers of cell phones are clearly identified, we recommend that you refrain from using cell phones for a long period of time based on the precautionary principle. It is necessary to reduce the use, and when using a mobile phone, keep it 2~3 centimeters away from the face and use earphones with wires as much as possible.”

The research results were published in the November 2020 issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, an international academic journal of SCIE.

* which corresponds to about 17 minutes per day over 10 years


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November 2, 2020

A review of research on cell phone use and tumor risk found that cell phone use with cumulative call time more than 1000 hours significantly increased the risk of tumors.

(Berkeley, CA, November 2, 2020)  Today, the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health published a systematic review and meta-analysis of the case-control research on cell phone use and tumor risk.

This study updates our original meta-analysis (i.e., quantitative research review) published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in 2009. The new review examined twice as many studies as our original paper.

"In sum, the updated comprehensive meta-analysis of case-control studies found significant evidence linking cellular phone use to increased tumor risk, especially among cell phone users with cumulative cell phone use of 1000 or more hours in their lifetime (which corresponds to about 17 min per day over 10 years), and especially among studies that employed high quality methods."

The abstract and excerpts from this open access paper appear below:

Yoon-Jung Choi+, Joel M. Moskowitz+, Seung-Kwon Myung*, Yi-Ryoung Lee, Yun-Chul Hong*. Cellular Phone Use and Risk of Tumors: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020, 17(21), 8079; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218079.

Abstract

We investigated whether cellular phone use was associated with increased risk of tumors using a meta-analysis of case-control studies. PubMed and EMBASE were searched from inception to July 2018. The primary outcome was the risk of tumors by cellular phone use, which was measured by pooling each odds ratio (OR) and its 95% confidence interval (CI). In a meta-analysis of 46 case-control studies, compared with never or rarely having used a cellular phone, regular use was not associated with tumor risk in the random-effects meta-analysis. However, in the subgroup meta-analysis by research group, there was a statistically significant positive association (harmful effect) in the Hardell et al. studies (OR, 1.15—95% CI, 1.00 to 1.33— n = 10), a statistically significant negative association (beneficial effect) in the INTERPHONE-related studies (case-control studies from 13 countries coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC); (OR, 0.81—95% CI, 0.75 to 0.89—n = 9), and no statistically significant association in other research groups’ studies. Further, cellular phone use with cumulative call time more than 1000 hours statistically significantly increased the risk of tumors. This comprehensive meta-analysis of case-control studies found evidence that linked cellular phone use to increased tumor risk.

+Contributed equally to this study as the first author. *Correspondence.

Excerpts

3.5. Exposure–Response Relationship Between Use of Cellular Phones and Risk of Tumors

Table 3 shows an exposure-response relationship between cellular phone use and tumor risk. In the subgroup meta-analysis by time since first use or latency, overall the risk of tumors by cellular phone use non-significantly increased from an OR of 0.97 to 1.29 as latency increased from less than 5 years to 10 or more years. This finding was observed in each subgroup meta-analysis by research group. Especially, statistically significant increased tumor risk was observed for latency of 10 or more years in the Hardell studies (OR, 1.62; 1.03 to 2.57; n = 5; I2 = 39.9%). Similarly, the use of cellular phones non-significantly increased the risk of tumors as the cumulative or lifetime use in years and the cumulative number of calls increased in all studies and in each study group. Remarkably, in the subgroup meta-analysis of all studies by cumulative call time, cellular phone use greater than 1000 hours statistically significantly increased the risk of tumors (OR, 1.60; 1.12 to 2.30; n = 8; I2 = 74.5%). Interestingly, the use of cellular phones overall and in the Hardell studies (OR, 3.65; 1.69 to 7.85; n = 2, especially in the Hardell studies) non significantly increased the risk of tumors with cumulative call time of 300–1000 h and more than 1000 h, while it decreased the risk of tumors in most subgroup meta-analyses of the INTERPHONE studies.

5. Conclusions

In sum, the updated comprehensive meta-analysis of case-control studies found significant evidence linking cellular phone use to increased tumor risk, especially among cell phone users with cumulative cell phone use of 1000 or more hours in their lifetime (which corresponds to about 17 min per day over 10 years), and especially among studies that employed high quality methods. Further quality prospective studies providing higher level of evidence than case-control studies are warranted to confirm our findings.

This open access paper and supplemental material can be downloaded at http://bit.ly/cellphonetumor.


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