Cell Phone Dangers

April 6, 2009 6:02:32 PM PDT
More than 3 billion people have them worldwide. More than 90 percent of the Western world uses them. Americans average about 13 hours a month talking on them. However, there are some downsides to using that device we just can't seem to get enough of.Men: beware! A new study shows cell phone usage may be linked to infertility problems.

"There was degradation in the quality of the sperm in the group which was exposed to the cell phone for one hour," Ashok Agarwal, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Reproductive Medicine at The Cleveland Clinic, told Ivanhoe.

Men who used their cell phones for more than four hours per day had the lowest quality of sperm.

Another recent study showed heavy cell phone use is linked to a 50-percent increased risk for developing tumors of the salivary gland.

Studies show it takes twice as long for a person to fall asleep after talking on a cell phone for just 30 minutes.

Here's another downside: You could get what doctors call "mobile phone dermatitis" or a rash in reaction to the nickel in some cell phones.

Your hands aren't free of risk either. Those who send a lot of texts may be at risk for blackberry thumb -- sore digits from overuse and repetition.

Experts recommend using hands-free devices and when talking, holding the phone away from the body. Less frequent calls that are shorter in duration may also be a good precautionary step.

Angie Kiska
Media Relations
The Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland, OH
(216) 444-6002

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