A study published this week (PDF) in the Journal of Andrology claims that prolonged exposure to cellular phone radiation may reduce sperm count and overall reproductive health in male humans and animals.
Though the study cautions that much more research is needed, the conclusions are rather stark for male cell phone users: avoid carrying the device in your front pocket.
Scientists looked at users who regularly carried a phone in the front pocket versus those who did not, finding that the closer the phone was to the genitals, the lower the man’s sperm concentration was, along with reductions in sperm motility and overall health.
The study also looked at rats exposed to cell phone radiation for six hours a day over the course of four months, discovering that they showed a 25 percent reduction in overall sperm count when compared to rats who weren’t exposed to the radiation.
“These abnormalities seem to be directly related with the length of mobile phone use,” they wrote.
The study is only the latest to confirm some health risks to cellular phone use. The World Health Organization said in May that it was reclassifying cell phone radiation as a carcinogen, similar to car exhaust or lead.