No substantiated evidence to link mobiles with male infertility

There is no substantiated scientific evidence that mobile phones affect fertility, Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) CEO Chris Althaus said today in response to unpublished research from the US.

He said the World Health Organisation (WHO), leading experts and international health authorities had found that none of the recent extensive scientific reviews had concluded that exposure to radio frequency fields from mobile phones and their base stations caused any adverse health consequences.

It has been reported today that findings from researchers at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, US, could indicate that electromagnetic fields generated by mobile phone handsets interfere with sperm production.

The study of 361 infertility patients found that the quality of a man’s sperm declined as his daily mobile phone use increased.

Mr Althaus said: “The findings of the study are inconsistent with other research in this area.

“It is important that claims such as this are supported by replicated scientific studies that have been subjected to peer review and independent analysis rather that draw conclusions from one off studies.

“Other researchers in this field have noted that many factors can influence a man’s sperm count. These include stress, obesity, heat and lifestyle – anyone of these factors may have confused the results.”

Mr Althaus pointed out that reaction from scientists to the findings had been guarded.

Other researchers cautioned that the study showed only an association between mobile phone use and sperm counts and not a causal link. It was more likely that heavy use was a proxy for another factor, such as stress or obesity, that was actually responsible for the effect, they said.

Allan Pacey, a senior lecturer in andrology at the University of Sheffield, was quoted as saying: "On the face of it, the findings seem pretty robust, but I can only assume that mobile phone use is some kind of surrogate for something else. If you are holding it up to your head to speak a lot, it makes no sense it is having a direct effect on your testes.”

For more information contact Randal Markey, Manager, Communications, (02) 6239 6555 or 0421 240550