Cell phones: modern man's nemesis?

Reprod Biomed Online. 2009 Jan;18(1):148-57. doi: 10.1016/s1472-6483(10)60437-3.


Over the past decade, the use of mobile phones has increased significantly. However, with every technological development comes some element of health concern, and cell phones are no exception. Recently, various studies have highlighted the negative effects of cell phone exposure on human health, and concerns about possible hazards related to cell phone exposure have been growing. This is a comprehensive, up-to-the-minute overview of the effects of cell phone exposure on human health. The types of cell phones and cell phone technologies currently used in the world are discussed in an attempt to improve the understanding of the technical aspects, including the effect of cell phone exposure on the cardiovascular system, sleep and cognitive function, as well as localized and general adverse effects, genotoxicity potential, neurohormonal secretion and tumour induction. The proposed mechanisms by which cell phones adversely affect various aspects of human health, and male fertility in particular, are explained, and the emerging molecular techniques and approaches for elucidating the effects of mobile phone radiation on cellular physiology using high-throughput screening techniques, such as metabolomics and microarrays, are discussed. A novel study is described, which is looking at changes in semen parameters, oxidative stress markers and sperm DNA damage in semen samples exposed in vitro to cell phone radiation.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular System / radiation effects
  • Cell Phone*
  • Cognition / radiation effects
  • Health
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / etiology*
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasms / etiology
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / metabolism
  • Radio Waves / adverse effects
  • Semen / metabolism
  • Semen / radiation effects
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / etiology


  • Neurotransmitter Agents