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Testicular Cancer in Teenage Boys: Is Cell Phone Radiation a Risk Factor for Young Boys Who Wear their Cell Phone on a Belt or in a Front Pocket?

Posted by CindySage on 26 Feb 2017 at 00:42 GMT

Testicular Cancer in Teenage Boys: Is Cell Phone Radiation a Risk Factor for Young Boys Who Wear their Cell Phone on a Belt or in a Front Pocket?

Re: The increasing toll of adolescent cancer incidence in the US
Jessica Burkhamer. David Kriebel1, and Richard Clapp

PLOS ONE | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0172986 February 24, 2017

This highly informative paper on increasing teen cancer rates omits a potential risk factor for testicular cancer.

The authors report that testicular and thyroid cancers are the most rapidly increasing cancers among teens, yet the known risk factors for these cancers do not seem to offer explanation for their marked increase. Although ELF and RF are not 'known risk factors', they are certainly possible risk factors for testicular cancer. It seems reasonable for the authors to consider the rather substantial evidence for adverse effects of ELF and RF from cell phone radiation and other wireless RF exposures on testicular morphology and function where the evidence for pathological changes indicates another possible risk factor for testicular cancer.

Both extremely low frequency (ELF-EMF) and radiofrequency radiation (RF) at environmentally relevant exposure levels are classified now by IARC as Possible Human Carcinogens (IARC, 2013). Dick Clapp was an early leader in acknowledging the possible carcinogenic consequences of electromagnetic fields (Coogan et al, 1996; Clapp, Howe and Jacobs, 2005). In 2005, Clapp judged the potential risks for cancer related to electromagnetic fields sufficient to warrant precautionary action, particularly for childhood leukemia (Clapp et al, 2005).

Overall, the evidence from various laboratories studying male fertility and reproduction effects over the last ten years is important enough raise questions about possible public health consequences (including cancer) of chronic, long-term exposure to mobile phone use, when carried on the body close to the reproductive organs. It is important to recognize environmental-level exposures from cell phone radiation (and the extremely low frequency magnetic field component from battery switching of the phone) are already widely reported to cause significant, deleterious effects on sperm, and testicular morphology consistent with development of testicular cancer. Several dozen studies from various international laboratories have replicated adverse effects on sperm quality, motility and pathology in men who use and particularly those who wear a cell phone, PDA or pager on their belt or in a pocket (Agarwal et al, 2008; Agarwal et al, 2009; Wdowiak et al, 2007; De Iuliis et al, 2009; Fejes et al, 2005; Aitken et al, 2005; Kesari et al, 2010, 2011, 2012, Behari and Rajamani, 2012). Other studies conclude that usage of cell phones, exposure to cell phone radiation, or storage of a mobile phone close to the testes of human males affect sperm counts, motility, viability, morphology and degeneration of the testes (Aitken et al, 2005; Agarwal et al, 2009; Erogul et al, 2006). Use of electronic household items and cell phones are reported to decrease fertility potential in men by inducing pathological changes in sperm and testes morphology (Erogul et al. 2006). Avendano et al (2012) reported a 4 hour to a wireless internet –connected laptop resulted in a significant decrease in progressive sperm motility and an increase in DNA fragmentation and keeping a laptop connected wirelessly to the internet on the lap near the testes may result in decreased male fertility. Animal studies have demonstrated oxidative and DNA damage, pathological changes in the testes of animals, decreased sperm mobility and viability, and other measures of deleterious damage to the male germ line (Yan et al, 2007; Otitoloju et al, 2010; Salama et al, 2008; Behari et al, 2006; Kumar et al, 2010, 2011). Hong et al (2005) reported that 50 Hz EMFs (0.2 mT or 6.4 mT, exposed for a period of 4 weeks) may have the potential to induce DNA strand breakage in testicular cells and sperm chromatin condensation in mice. MF-ELF exposure levels of several hundred milligauss can koccur during cell phone battery switching when emails or texts are being received (Sage et al, 2007). French et al (2000) reported that repeated exposure to mobile phone radiation acts as a repetitive stress leading to continuous expression of heat shock proteins (HSP) in exposed cells and tissues, which in turn affects their normal regulation, and cancer results. Repeated exposure to cell phone radiation results in chronic expression of HSPs that can lead to induction of cancer. This hypothesis provides the possibility of a direct association between mobile phone use and cancer. Human sperm are damaged by cell phone radiation at very low intensities (0.00034 – 0.07 μW/cm2). Exposure levels are similar to those resulting from wearing a cell phone on the belt, or in the pants pocket, or using a wireless laptop computer on the lap, in proximity to the testes.
The testes, like the brain, gut and placenta all have barriers protecting them from blood toxins. Several studies have established that cell phone radiofrequency radiation can cause pathological leakage and disruption of the blood-brain barrier (Salford et al, 2003, Salford et al, 2012). By analogy, testicular deterioration from leakage of the testes-blood barrier caused by cell phone radiation may contribute to testicular cancer (Herbert and Sage, 2013).

Given the extensive scientific evidence already published on this topic, it is not surprising that testicular cancer has become epidemiologically visible. Non-ionizing radiation should be one of the key environmental exposures added to the list of possible risk factors for the increase in testicular cancer in boys. It is largely a preventable exposure, particularly in teens who are still under the guidance of their parents and can be educated not to wear a cell phone on a belt, or carried in a front pocket. The authors may find the references below to be helpful.

Cindy Sage, Co-Editor, BioInitiative Reports
Sage Associates, Santa Barbara, CA USA


Agarwal A, Deepinder F, Sharma RK, Ranga G, Li J. Effect of cell phone usage on semen analysis in men attending infertility clinic: an observational study. Fertil Steril. 2008;89(1):124-8.

Agarwal A, Desai NR, Makker K, Varghese A, Mouradi R, Sabanegh E, et al. Effect of radiofrequency electromagnetic waves (RF-EMF) from cellular phones on human ejaculated semen: an in vitro study. Fertility Sterility 2009;92(4):1318-1325.

Aitken RJ, Bennetts LE, Sawyer D, Wiklendt AM, King BV. Impact of radio frequency electromagnetic radiation on DNA integrity in the male germline. Int J Androl. 2005 Jun;28(3):171-9.

Aitken RJ, Roman SD. Antioxidant systems and oxidant stress in the testes. Review. Oxidative Med. Cell Longevity. 2008;1:15-24

Avendano C, Mata A, Sanchez Sarmiento CA, Doncel GF. Use of laptop computers connected to internet through Wi-Fi decreases human sperm motility and increases sperm DNA fragmentation. Fertility Sterlity 2012;97(1):39-45.

Behari J, Kesari KK. Effects of microwave radiations on reproductive system of male rats. Embryo Talk 2006;1 (Suppl.1):81-5.

Behari and Rajamani, 2012. Section 18 - Electromagnetic Field Exposure Effects (ELF-EMF and RF) on Fertility and Reproduction; In C. Sage, DO Carpenter (Eds.). BioInitiative Report 2012: A Rationale for a Biologically based Public Exposure Standard for Electromagnetic Fields (ELF and RF), 2012, Available from: http://www.bioinitiative.....

Clapp RW, Howe, GK, Jacobs MM. (2005) Environmental and Occupational Causes of Cancer:
A Review of Recent Scientific Literature. Prepared by Boston University School of Public Health and Environmental Health Initiative, University of Massachusetts Lowell, For the Cancer Working Group of the Collaborative on Health and the Environment, 2005

Coogan PF, Clapp RW,Newcomb PA,Wenzl TB, Bogdan G, Mittendorf R, et al. s(1996).Occupational exposure to 60-hertzmagnetic fields and risk of breast cancer in women.
Epidemiology 7:459-464.

DeIullis GN, Newey RJ, King BV, Aitken RJ. Mobile phone radiation induces reactive oxygen species production and DNA damage in human spermatozoa in vitro. PLos One 2009;4(7):e6446.

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Fejes I, Zavacki Z, Szollosi J, Koloszar Daru J, Kovacs L, Pal A. Is there a relationship between cell phone use and semen quality ? Arch Androl. 2005;51, 385-393.

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International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) (2013) Non-ionizing radiation Part 2: Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields, Monograph 102.

Kesari KK, Behari J. Microwave exposure affecting reproductive system in male rats. Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2010;31(6):495-498.

Kesari KK, Kumar S, Behari J. Effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic wave exposure from cellular phones on the reproductive pattern in male Wistar rats. Appl Biochem Biotechnol 2011;164(4):546-59.

Kesari KK, Behari J. Evidence for mobile phone radiation exposure effects on reproductive pattern of male rats: Role of ROS. Electromagnetics Biology Medicine. 2012;31(3):213-222.

Kumar S, Kesari KK, Behari J. Evaluation of genotoxic effect in male wistar rats following microwave exposure. Ind J. Exp Biology 2010;48, 586-592.

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Otitoloju AA, Obe IA, Adewale OA, Otubanjo OA, Osunkalu VO. Preliminary study on the reduction of sperm head abnormalities in mice , Mus musculus, exposed to radiofrequency radiations from global system for mobile communication base stations. Bull Environ Contamin Toxicol 2010;84(1):51-4.

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Salama N, Kishimoto T, Kanayama HO. Effects of exposure to a mobile phone on testicular function and structure in adult rabbit. International Journal of Andrology 2010;33(1):88-94.

Salford LG, Brun AE, Eberhardt JL, Malmgren L, Persson BR. (2003) Nerve cell damage in mammalian brain after exposure to microwaves from GSM mobile phones. Environmental health perspectives. 111:881-883; discussion A408.

Salford LG, Nittby H, Persson BR. (2012) Effects of EMF from wire-less communication upon the blood–brain barrier, in: C. Sage, D.O.Carpenter (Eds.), The BioInitiative Report 2012: A Rationale for aBiologically-based Public Exposure Standard for ElectromagneticFields (ELF and RF), 2012 http://www.bioinitiative....

Wdowiak A, Wdowiak L, Wiktor H. Evaluation of the effect of using mobile phones on male fertility. Annals Agriculture Environmental Medicine: AAEM 2007;14(1):169-72.

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No competing interests declared.

RE: Testicular Cancer in Teenage Boys: Is Cell Phone Radiation a Risk Factor for Young Boys Who Wear their Cell Phone on a Belt or in a Front Pocket?

jburkhamer replied to CindySage on 03 Mar 2017 at 02:13 GMT

Ms. Sage,

Thank you for your comment and your interest in "The increasing toll of adolescent cancer incidence in the US".

No competing interests declared.