Cell Phones Effect on Society

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RBMOnline - Vol 18. No 1. 2009 148-157 Reproductive BioMedicine Online; www.rbmonline.com/Article/3628 on web 3 November 2008

Review Cell phones: modern man’s nemesis?
Ashok Agarwal is a Professor in the Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University and the Director of Center for Reproductive Medicine, and the Clinical Andrology Laboratory at The Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, United States. He has published over 400 scientific articles, reviews and book chapters in different areas of andrology, male/ female infertility and fertility preservation. His research program is known internationally for its focus on disease-oriented cutting edge research in the field of human reproduction. His team has presented over 700 papers at national and international meetings and more than 150 scientists, clinicians and biologists have received their training in his laboratory.

Dr Ashok Agarwal Kartikeya Makker1, Alex Varghese1, Nisarg R Desai1, Rand Mouradi2, Ashok Agarwal1,3 1 Center for Reproductive Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, USA; 2Department of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA 3 Correspondence: Tel: +1 216 444 9485; Fax: +1 216 445 6049; e-mail: agarwaa@ccf.org

Abstract
Over the past decade, the use of mobile phones has increased significantly. However, with every technological development comes some element of health concern, and cell phones are no exception. Recently, various studies have highlighted the negative effects of cell phone exposure on human health, and concerns about possible hazards related to cell phone exposure have been growing. This is a comprehensive, up-to-the-minute overview of the effects of cell phone exposure on human health. The types of cell phones and cell phone technologies currently used in the world are discussed in an attempt to improve the understanding of the technical aspects, including the effect of cell phone exposure on the cardiovascular system, sleep and cognitive function, as well as localized and general adverse effects, genotoxicity potential, neurohormonal secretion and tumour induction. The proposed mechanisms by which cell phones adversely affect various aspects of human health, and male fertility in particular, are explained, and the emerging molecular techniques and approaches for elucidating the effects of mobile phone radiation on cellular physiology using high-throughput screening techniques, such as metabolomics and microarrays, are discussed. A novel study is described, which is looking at changes in semen parameters, oxidative stress markers and sperm DNA damage in semen samples exposed in vitro to cell phone radiation. Keywords: biophysics, cell phone, general health, infertility, radiofrequency electromagnetic waves, RF-EMW

Introduction
Cell phone usage has increased by leaps and bounds in the past decade and a half. From being a luxury limited to the wealthy, cell phones have become a commodity, virtually indispensable in daily lives. However, every technological advance and its overuse have a negative aspect. The increase in popularity of cell phones is accompanied by a growing concern regarding the harmful effects of cell phone radiation (radiofrequency electromagnetic waves; RF-EMW) exposure on human health. An earlier report of the Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones, established by the UK government, summarized the relevant studies on the biological effects of RF-EMW (Huber et al., 2000). Since then, a flurry of scientific activities has attempted to define and quantify the adverse effects of RF-EMW. Despite the increasing number of reports concerning the effects of RF-EMW on various biological systems, no satisfactory mechanism has been proposed to explain the effects of this radiation (Feychting, 2005). Although cell phone companies constantly reassure their subscribers about the safety of their product, reports based on animal and human experiments...
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