Meo SA, Al-Drees AM, Husain S, Kann MM, Imran MB. Effects of mobile phone radiation on serum testosterone in Wistar albino rats. Saudi Med J 31(8): 869-873, 2010.
Daily use of mobile phones is yet another form of radiation exposure that could lead to detrimental effects on human health, including infertility. Fifteen percent of couples are infertile and possible causes as to why this is, is questioned by many research groups. Past studies have indicated that electromagnetic fields (EMF) could lead to male infertility. Level of the male hormone testosterone in the blood is an important factor in male fertility, and this group investigates what happens to male hormone levels (testosterone) after mobile phone exposure.
The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of mobile phone exposure on male hormone (testosterone) levels in the blood of male Wistar rats.
Three different treatment groups of two month old male Wistar rats were used in the study. The first group (14 rats) was exposed to mobile phone radiation for 30 min/day for three months, and the second group (14 rats) was exposed to mobile phone radiation for 60 min/day for three months. Both the first and second groups were exposed to radiation by placing a cell phone in the cage and calling that cell phone for the time allotted. The mobile phone was kept in a power-on position. The third group (6 rats) was considered to be the control group and was not exposed to any cell phone radiation. After three months, blood samples were taken and male hormone levels (testosterone) measured.
The researchers found a significant difference in male hormone levels (testosterone) between the control group and the group of rats exposed to 60 minutes of mobile phone radiation per day for three months. The group of rats exposed to 30 minutes of mobile phone radiation also experienced reduced levels although these results were not statistically significant.
Interpretation and Limitations
Many groups have demonstrated that male reproductive organs are affected by mobile phone exposure, but exactly how the radiation from mobile phones does this is not known. This group suggests that damage to reproductive organs could be one of the reasons that low testosterone levels were found in the blood of exposed rats. A limitation of this study is that equivalent testosterone levels were not established among the rats before the exposure experiment, and that less than half the number of rats was used as controls which could skew the control male hormone levels.
This study demonstrated that excessive mobile phone use could lower testosterone levels in male rats and that this effect seems to be dose-dependent.