I'm aware that a similar question has been asked before, but I'm hoping my questions are different enough to warrant a new post. Does the presence of a cellphone affect sperm count or heart rate?

I know that cell phones/wifi don't produce ionizing radiation, so there isn't an obvious mechanism for causing dna damage, but there seems to be a growing consensus that they can produce oxidative stress & dna damage in sperm at very low intensities.

I have three questions: First, am I right that there's a growing consensus, or am I just falling prey to publication bias? Second, is there any plausible mechanism for this? I believe heating was controlled for in the papers I've linked, so that shouldn't be it. If there's no plausible mechanism, what are some explanations for their findings?

Third, if this is true, shouldn't we see a huge growth in infertility/birth defects/miscarriage rates? Is it likely for us to not see those and for these studies to be correct?


http://aphoenix.awardspace.com/documents/aitken_etal_2005.pdf <- Original research http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.2164/jandrol.111.014373/full <- Literature review http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412014001354 <- Meta-analysis http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_risk/committees/04_scenihr/docs/scenihr_o_022.pdf <- European commission report (a resounding "maybe"). http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0006446 <- Original research

  • What kind of evidence are you looking for?
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Jul 19, 2014 at 15:02
  • What claim are you skeptical of, and what evidence are you looking for? Is anyone claiming that there's a growing consensus? Also, discussing the mechanism or why the results are what they are is not something which is on topic for skeptics -- we can only point at the evidence, not provide scientific theories. Finally, you already point to a meta analysis and a literature review. They are generally considered the highest form of evidence on topics: what kind of evidence can be provided to trump that?
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Jul 19, 2014 at 16:40
  • You're right, I suppose this isn't the most appropriate forum for my question. Regarding your last question: They are generally considered the highest form of evidence on topics: what kind of evidence can be provided to trump that? I would be looking for competing analyses, evidence of conflicts of interests, or an explanation of why the measured effects can't be caused by the provided mechanisms. This is all out of my field, so I have no way of evaluating the claims of a risk.
    – Joel
    Commented Jul 19, 2014 at 22:38


Browse other questions tagged .