Pathophysiology of cell phone radiation: oxidative stress and carcinogenesis with focus on male reproductive system

Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2009 Oct 22;7:114. doi: 10.1186/1477-7827-7-114.


Hazardous health effects stemming from exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic waves (RF-EMW) emitted from cell phones have been reported in the literature. However, the cellular target of RF-EMW is still controversial. This review identifies the plasma membrane as a target of RF-EMW. In addition, the effects of RF-EMW on plasma membrane structures (i.e. NADH oxidase, phosphatidylserine, ornithine decarboxylase) and voltage-gated calcium channels are discussed. We explore the disturbance in reactive oxygen species (ROS) metabolism caused by RF-EMW and delineate NADH oxidase mediated ROS formation as playing a central role in oxidative stress (OS) due to cell phone radiation (with a focus on the male reproductive system). This review also addresses: 1) the controversial effects of RF-EMW on mammalian cells and sperm DNA as well as its effect on apoptosis, 2) epidemiological, in vivo animal and in vitro studies on the effect of RF-EMW on male reproductive system, and 3) finally, exposure assessment and dosimetry by computational biomodeling.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinoma / etiology*
  • Cell Phone*
  • Genital Neoplasms, Male / etiology*
  • Genitalia, Male / radiation effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / etiology*
  • Oxidative Stress / radiation effects*
  • Radiation