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      Male reproductive health under threat: Short term exposure to radiofrequency radiations emitted by common mobile jammers

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          Abstract

          BACKGROUND:

          Modern life prompted man to increasingly generate, transmit and use electricity that leads to exposure to different levels of electromagnetic fields (EMFs). Substantial evidence indicates that exposure to common sources of EMF such as mobile phones, laptops or wireless internet-connected laptops decreases human semen quality. In some countries, mobile jammers are occasionally used in offices, shrines, conference rooms and cinemas to block the signal.

          AIMS:

          To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the effect of short term exposure of human sperm samples to radiofrequency (RF) radiations emitted by common mobile jammers.

          SUBJECTS AND METHODS:

          Fresh semen samples were collected by masturbation from 30 healthy donors who had referred to Infertility Treatment Center at the Mother and Child Hospital with their wives. Female problem was diagnosed as the reason for infertility in these couples.

          STATISTICAL ANALYSIS:

          T-test and analysis of variance were used to show statistical significance.

          RESULTS:

          The motility of sperm samples exposed to jammer RF radiation for 2 or 4 h were significantly lower than those of sham-exposed samples. These findings lead us to the conclusion that mobile jammers may significantly decrease sperm motility and the couples’ chances of conception.

          CONCLUSION:

          Based on these results, it can be suggested that in countries that have not banned mobile jammer use, legislations should be urgently passed to restrict the use of these signal blocking devices in public or private places.

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          Most cited references 29

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          Mobile Phone Radiation Induces Reactive Oxygen Species Production and DNA Damage in Human Spermatozoa In Vitro

          Background In recent times there has been some controversy over the impact of electromagnetic radiation on human health. The significance of mobile phone radiation on male reproduction is a key element of this debate since several studies have suggested a relationship between mobile phone use and semen quality. The potential mechanisms involved have not been established, however, human spermatozoa are known to be particularly vulnerable to oxidative stress by virtue of the abundant availability of substrates for free radical attack and the lack of cytoplasmic space to accommodate antioxidant enzymes. Moreover, the induction of oxidative stress in these cells not only perturbs their capacity for fertilization but also contributes to sperm DNA damage. The latter has, in turn, been linked with poor fertility, an increased incidence of miscarriage and morbidity in the offspring, including childhood cancer. In light of these associations, we have analyzed the influence of RF-EMR on the cell biology of human spermatozoa in vitro. Principal Findings Purified human spermatozoa were exposed to radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) tuned to 1.8 GHz and covering a range of specific absorption rates (SAR) from 0.4 W/kg to 27.5 W/kg. In step with increasing SAR, motility and vitality were significantly reduced after RF-EMR exposure, while the mitochondrial generation of reactive oxygen species and DNA fragmentation were significantly elevated (P<0.001). Furthermore, we also observed highly significant relationships between SAR, the oxidative DNA damage bio-marker, 8-OH-dG, and DNA fragmentation after RF-EMR exposure. Conclusions RF-EMR in both the power density and frequency range of mobile phones enhances mitochondrial reactive oxygen species generation by human spermatozoa, decreasing the motility and vitality of these cells while stimulating DNA base adduct formation and, ultimately DNA fragmentation. These findings have clear implications for the safety of extensive mobile phone use by males of reproductive age, potentially affecting both their fertility and the health and wellbeing of their offspring.
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            Non-thermal activation of the hsp27/p38MAPK stress pathway by mobile phone radiation in human endothelial cells: molecular mechanism for cancer- and blood-brain barrier-related effects.

            We have examined whether non-thermal exposures of cultures of the human endothelial cell line EA.hy926 to 900 MHz GSM mobile phone microwave radiation could activate stress response. Results obtained demonstrate that 1-hour non-thermal exposure of EA.hy926 cells changes the phosphorylation status of numerous, yet largely unidentified, proteins. One of the affected proteins was identified as heat shock protein-27 (hsp27). Mobile phone exposure caused a transient increase in phosphorylation of hsp27, an effect which was prevented by SB203580, a specific inhibitor of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK). Also, mobile phone exposure caused transient changes in the protein expression levels of hsp27 and p38MAPK. All these changes were non-thermal effects because, as determined using temperature probes, irradiation did not alter the temperature of cell cultures, which remained throughout the irradiation period at 37 +/- 0.3 degrees C. Changes in the overall pattern of protein phosphorylation suggest that mobile phone radiation activates a variety of cellular signal transduction pathways, among them the hsp27/p38MAPK stress response pathway. Based on the known functions of hsp27, we put forward the hypothesis that mobile phone radiation-induced activation of hsp27 may (i) facilitate the development of brain cancer by inhibiting the cytochrome c/caspase-3 apoptotic pathway and (ii) cause an increase in blood-brain barrier permeability through stabilization of endothelial cell stress fibers. We postulate that these events, when occurring repeatedly over a long period of time, might become a health hazard because of the possible accumulation of brain tissue damage. Furthermore, our hypothesis suggests that other brain damaging factors may co-participate in mobile phone radiation-induced effects.
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              Prevalence of subjective poor health symptoms associated with exposure to electromagnetic fields among university students.

              The number of people complaining about different symptoms that may be associated with exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) has increased rapidly during past years. Students use both mobile phones and video display terminals frequently. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association of mobile phone use and EMF health hazards. Basic demographic data and self-reported symptoms were sought using a questionnaire administered to all apparently healthy students at Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences (RUMS) and Vali-e-Asr University (VAU). Questions about some major confounding factors such as age, gender, amount of video display terminal work were also included. Exact Fischer Test was used for data analysis. Among self-reported symptoms, headache (53.5%), fatigue (35.6%), difficulties in concentration (32.5%), vertigo/dizziness (30.4%), attention disorders (28.8%), nervousness (28.1%), palpitation (14.7%), low back pain (14.3%), myalgia (12.4%), and tinnitus (9.9%) were the main self-reported symptoms. No significant differences in the prevalence of these symptoms were found between CRT users and those who did not use CRTs. A significant association was found between cordless phone use and difficulties in concentration (P < .05) or attention disorders (P < .05). However, after correction of the gender role, these differences were not significant. No association was found between mobile phone use and the above-mentioned symptoms. No significantly higher prevalence of self-reported symptoms was found in individuals who had used mobile phones, video display terminals or cordless phones more frequently than others. Mass-media's lack of interest in the possible hazards of exposure to EMF in developing countries can explain the difference observed between the results of this study and those of other researchers in some developed countries who have shown an association between EMF exposure and the prevalence of self-reported subjective symptoms. This finding can confirm the results obtained in provocative studies which indicated the role of psychological factors in electromagnetic hypersensitivity. More research is needed to clarify whether daily environmental EMF may cause health problems. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Hum Reprod Sci
                J Hum Reprod Sci
                JHRS
                Journal of Human Reproductive Sciences
                Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd (India )
                0974-1208
                1998-4766
                Apr-Jun 2013
                : 6
                : 2
                : 124-128
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Medical Physics, School of Medicine, Shiraz, Iran
                [2 ]The Center for Research in Ionizing and Non-ionizing Radiation, School of Paramedical Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
                [3 ]IVF Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
                [4 ]Student Research Committee, School of Paramedical Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
                [5 ]Student Research Committee, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
                Author notes
                Address for correspondence: Prof. S. M. J. Mortazavi, Department of Medical Physics and Medical Engineering, School of Medicine, The Center for Research in Ionizing and Non-ionizing Radiation, School of Paramedical Sciences, Meshkin-fam Street, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran. E-mail: mmortazavi@ 123456sums.ac.ir
                Article
                JHRS-6-124
                10.4103/0974-1208.117178
                3778601
                24082653
                Copyright: © Journal of Human Reproductive Sciences

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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