Safe School
Committee
 

WiFi from Laptop can Damage Sperm DNA
October 24, 2010
                                                                                                                 
   Using a laptop with the WiFi turned on may damage sperm, according to a landmark study on the effects of microwave radiation on sperm. The study was presented at the meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in Denver, Colorado.

   “This is the first scientific study showing that a laptop computer connected by WiFi may damage DNA and decrease sperm mobility in only four hours,” said Conrado Avendano, Research Director at the Nascentis Reproductive Medical Centre in Argentina.

   Previous studies on microwave radiation from cell phones found that the radiation from a cell phone can decrease sperm quality, and advised against men carrying cell phones in their pant pocket. This new study is the first to investigate the impact of microwave radiation from wifi-enabled laptops on sperm. In four hours of exposure, the scientists found decreased sperm motility and DNA damage.
 
  The human sperm was exposed to a laptop computer connected to the internet with WiFi, which transmits data using pulsed microwaves.

   “It is possible that the radiation generated by WiFi may produce damage in other organs like the ovaries because microwaves pass through human tissue,” says Avandano, “but it is necessary to do more research to prove it.”
 
   The study is important in another way because it found that the changes in the DNA were caused by non-thermal mechanisms.
 
   “Other studies also suggest that the microwave frequencies used for WiFi may alter gene expression in cultured human cells through non-thermal mechanisms,” says Avendano.

   Currently, a thermal or heating guideline is the only guideline the Canadian government uses to determine whether microwave levels are safe.  Avendano’s study is significant because it was conducted well below the thermal "safe" limits.

   The lead author recommends that men who want to have children do not work with their laptop near their lap when the WiFi is on -- or connect to the internet with a cable which does not emit microwave radiation.

   The team will next study the specific molecular mechanism by which the radiation causes sperm damage. This study was conducted under in vitro condition, using human sperm.
 
   “According to our findings we hypothesize that this in vitro result may be similar in vivo, or in humans, because , it has been shown that electromagnetic waves pass through body tissue”.

   The study will be published in the prestigious journal Fertility and Sterility: Click here for abstract “LAPTOP EXPOSITIONS AFFECT MOTILITY AND INDUCE DNA FRAGMENTATION IN HUMAN SPERMATOZOA IN VITRO BY A NON-THERMAL EFFECT: A PRELIMINARY REPORT”

Important Related Studies:

WiFi (2.45 GHz) Changes Gene Expression in two hours
    
The researchers observed that 221 genes altered their expression after 2 hours of microwave exposure.
     The number of affected genes increased to 759 after a six hours of exposure. Click here for full article.

Studies find disruption of the Blood-Testicle Barrier with short term exposure to radio frequency radiation.     
     Click here for 2010 article 
     Click here for 2008 article

Cell phone radiation can affect fertility Click for article

Also see testimony from Dr. D. Panagopoulos (Faculty of Biology, University of Athens) Click here for link.

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