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Author Topic: Could cell phones' effects on sperm cause Autism?  (Read 4758 times)

Offline Stefanb

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After hearing, recently, about the number of kids being diagnosed with Autism, I tried to look into the matter. However, Autism, Alzheimer's Disease, etc. have constantly been linked to various things such as consumption of Aluminum to vaccination. Most of these claims lack research and are driven solely on the fear of the general public. But, also reading about cell phone frequency microwave radiation and its effects on sperm, I began to wonder whether or not sperm's exposure to this could alter the DNA/chromosome structure and, in turn, cause Autism. Does anyone know of any articles about this relation, or have any insight to offer upon the issue?


 

Offline glovesforfoxes

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Could cell phones' effects on sperm cause Autism?
« Reply #1 on: 07/09/2009 19:31:36 »
my first thought is: how many men or women that are sexually active are actually putting mobile phones in between their legs for long enough for it to be significant? furthermore, if it damages sperm, then it would either have to damage all the sperm in a particular way (likely?) for this effect to be significant or damage a few hundred sperm - in which case, there would be no significant, widespread increase in the prevalence of autism. i don't mean to discourage you, but i find this hypothesis unlikely because a few rare events would need to happen to many different people for it to significantly contribute to the rates of autism. it's good that you recognise the phony hypotheses out there though :)
 

Offline Stefanb

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Could cell phones' effects on sperm cause Autism?
« Reply #2 on: 07/09/2009 19:33:29 »
Let me link the article that I have recently read- http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/conditions/09/18/cellphone.sperm/

And a man's pocket is very close to the testes... Making radiation highly probable.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Could cell phones' effects on sperm cause Autism?
« Reply #3 on: 07/09/2009 19:34:36 »
"Could cell phone's affect on sperm cause autism"
Only if the effect can time travel. The aparent rates of autism took off in the 70s well before mobile phones became popular.
Chromosomal damage shows up as a number of problems and I don't know if autism is among them; but the rise in the use of mobile phones hasn't been accompanied by a comparable  rise in the rates of, for example, Down's syndrome (which is related directly to chromosomes).
Also, as far as I'm aware, there's no mechanism to link 'phones to chromasome damage.

The short anwer seems to be, no.
 

Offline Pwee

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Could cell phones' effects on sperm cause Autism?
« Reply #4 on: 08/09/2009 09:36:49 »
Quote
However, the study does have major limitations, he acknowledged, such as the small sample size. It also was conducted in a lab and so cannot account for the protection a human body might offer, such as layers of skin, bone and tissue. Agarwal is in the early stages of further research that can model the human body's role in protecting from radio-frequency electromagnetic waves emitted from cell phones.

I could imagine that carrying a cellphone in your pocket could slightly increase the temperature in the testes and thus for a period of time lowering the sperm quality as wearing tight pants or cycling does, but that it would be the cause of more diagnosed autism? I doubt it.

I like Bored chemist's answer:
Quote
The aparent rates of autism took off in the 70s well before mobile phones became popular.
 

lyner

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Could cell phones' effects on sperm cause Autism?
« Reply #5 on: 08/09/2009 13:44:48 »
The thickness of your clothing around the genitals will have much more effect on the temperature down there than a very few mW of heat supplied by the cellphone battery. The energy content of a small battery will be a few thousand Joules (say 10kJ). That would raise the temperature of a kg of water by about 4C if delivered in a short time and with good insulation. Instead, the phone, on standby (in the pocket), operates for days and days - spreading our the  energy input. It would be impossible to measure any change in temperature from that cause.

Isn't the perceived increased Autism due, at least partly, to the fact that it is recognised and diagnosed by more clinicians these days?
« Last Edit: 08/09/2009 13:48:28 by sophiecentaur »
 

Offline glovesforfoxes

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Could cell phones' effects on sperm cause Autism?
« Reply #6 on: 08/09/2009 14:39:42 »
Quote from: Article
"On average, there was an 85 percent increase in the amount of free radicals for all the subjects in the study. Free radicals have been linked to a variety of diseases in humans including cancer," said Agarwal. Free radicals have been linked to decreased sperm quality in previous studies.

However, the study does have major limitations, he acknowledged, such as the small sample size. It also was conducted in a lab and so cannot account for the protection a human body might offer, such as layers of skin, bone and tissue. Agarwal is in the early stages of further research that can model the human body's role in protecting from radio-frequency electromagnetic waves emitted from cell phones.

Agarwal also admits that there is no clear explanation of this demonstrated effect, but he shared some of his theories. "Perhaps the cell phone radiation is able to affect the gonads through a thermal effect thereby increasing the temperature of the testes and causing damaging effects in the sperm cell."

In a previous study, Agarwal and his team found that men who used their cell phones more than four hours a day had significantly lower sperm quality than those who used their cell phones for less time. Those findings were based on self-reported data from 361 subjects.

this is all very, very speculative stuff. i don't think it's reasonable to conclude anything yet, until much more research is done in various areas, as the researcher suggests. there are just too many "maybe" links in the chain for it to be plausible.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Could cell phones' effects on sperm cause Autism?
« Reply #7 on: 08/09/2009 19:14:06 »
" i don't think it's reasonable to conclude anything yet, "
Unless you are prepared to suspend the laws of cause and effect and permit the effect to travel backwards in time, there is abolutely no way that mobile phones in the 80s can have caused an increase in reported autism rates in the 70s.
That's not speculative at all; it's about as close to a proof of the lack of an effect that science can ever hope to get.
 

Offline glovesforfoxes

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Could cell phones' effects on sperm cause Autism?
« Reply #8 on: 08/09/2009 20:01:36 »
Quote from: Bored chemist
Unless you are prepared to suspend the laws of cause and effect and permit the effect to travel backwards in time, there is abolutely no way that mobile phones in the 80s can have caused an increase in reported autism rates in the 70s.
That's not speculative at all; it's about as close to a proof of the lack of an effect that science can ever hope to get.

ach! you're just another victim of Big Autism! :D

(does anyone else find this emoticon set pretty creepy?)

i was talking about the link between mobile phone usage and damage to sperm. the article the OP linked wasn't actually about autism, and didn't even contain the word - it's just about mobile phones possibly causing damage to sperm, that's what i was talking about in my last post :) i should've made that more clear, i'm sorry bout that!
 

Offline Pwee

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Could cell phones' effects on sperm cause Autism?
« Reply #9 on: 09/09/2009 08:58:45 »
" i don't think it's reasonable to conclude anything yet, "
Unless you are prepared to suspend the laws of cause and effect and permit the effect to travel backwards in time, there is absolutely no way that mobile phones in the 80s can have caused an increase in reported autism rates in the 70s.
That's not speculative at all; it's about as close to a proof of the lack of an effect that science can ever hope to get.

OK, but what if there came something else in the 70s (for example  compact cassette) that contained a yet unidentified chemical that got into our water reserves from the dumps and so causing more autistic children to be born. Then the cassettes got less popular but mobile phones got more popular and so you couldn't see mobile phones' effect because it was masked by the compact cassettes' effect that declined in the same way as the mobile effect rise (and of course the effect was the same).

(I'm joking obviously  :D )
 

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Could cell phones' effects on sperm cause Autism?
« Reply #9 on: 09/09/2009 08:58:45 »

 

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