+4 votes
in General Factchecking by Genius (42.0k points)
Radiation from cell phones harm male fertility.
by Journeyman (2.0k points)
I've heard this claim dating back years -- my mom always told me not to charge my phone near my bed at night out of fear it could hurt my health. It's fascinating to see that it's actually, at least to some extent, true.
by Novice (690 points)
Wow, crazy. I heard of this claim years ago and I thought it was just a conspiracy. If this is actually, medically true, billions are to be affected. Lets hope there's some way to fix this.

5 Answers

+2 votes
by Journeyman (2.1k points)

This article is a summary of a cross-sectional study examining the association between cellphone use and male fertility posted in Fertility and Sterility. The claim that cellphone radiation is associated with harm to male fertility is backed by the National Institutes of Health, "While no certain conclusions can be drawn from current evidence, a growing number of studies indicate a decrease in male fertility associated with cellular phone usage". This makes the original article's true.

sources: 

https://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(23)01875-7/fulltext

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4074720/#:~:text=Thus%2C%20according%20to%20the%20presented,leads%20to%20sperm%20DNA%20fragmentation.

True
by Novice (970 points)
+1
If you are fact checking you need to have multiple reliable sources. Due to certain studies posting that there has been a decrease in male fertility due to cellular phone usage does not make the original articles true. You did a great job on summarizing what the articles point was however, doing more background research at other research articles on this topic.
by Novice (930 points)
+1
I thought your answer was precise and straight to the point but, could have provided better evidence. Even though you had good sources listed, I believe adding more information about those sources would have been helpful as it would have allowed you to expand your thoughts.
by Novice (920 points)
+1
I think with a little more effort, your fact check can be more concrete in its analysis. You summarized the articles, however, I think a little more research is required for a topic like this. I believe this claim to be a case of 'correlation does not equal causation'. Although there is a trend between phone usage and decreased fertility, more evidence is required for the relationship to be considered causal.
by Novice (910 points)
This is a good summary of information but it seems there could have been more done to show how the claim is pretty much a red herring. It can be a fact that over the last 10 years male sperm count is down a significant margin. However, there seems to be no evidence that links that to cellphone usage. It could have helped to look into some other factors that could be causing this to happen and even go into the type of radiation that phones give off and see if that could correlate to make sperm count.
by Journeyman (2.2k points)
You did a great job collecting information from outside sources and presenting them in a more concise and digestable format. However, I think its important to remember that two sources, especially when it comes to fact checking theories of science is not enough. Providing a couple more sources could help us have a better conclusion on where to lean with this claim.
by Novice (720 points)
The information you gathered was sufficient and it aligns with the conclusions that I found in my research. I would say though there isn't any evidence that it was directly from the cellphone usage. Radiation is all around us in the world so you could've shown a relationship between that an cellphones with more evidence.
by Apprentice (1.6k points)
This does not seem like a decisively thorough answer. I think that you could have included a more specific opinion as to whether the claim was misleading or completely accurate. Additionally, it is common for studies to claim results that are revised soon after by the results of newer studies. I would suggest including cross references to further legitimize the claim.
0 votes
by Apprentice (1.2k points)
The article cited uses a study by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, an NSA who works with the World Health Organization and has members in many countries. However, the Epoch Times themselves are categorized as a far-right organization affilitated with the Falun Gong new religious movement, so it is important to pay careful attention to their claims. While the original study, as well as this study (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34630149/), both seem to find that phones do have an impact on male fertility, other sources, (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4074720/ and https://healthcare.utah.edu/healthfeed/2023/06/no-guys-your-cellphone-not-making-you-infertile), would say that it is hard to draw conclusive evidence when so many other factors play in to male infertility. I would say that it is never bad to be careful, but also not too worry to much about your phone being the sole cause just yet.
Exaggerated/ Misleading
0 votes
by Champion (14.6k points)

This claim is true. After a study done by the National Library of Medicine, they found that "It is likely that constant direct mobile phone radiation exposure on sperm (testis) could damage sperm and directly influence its motility. This is likely to affect the fertility of healthy men, possibly rendering them infertile in the future." Additionally, CNN reported another study being conducted that concluded that men between the ages of 18 and 22 who used their phones more than 20 times a day had a 21% higher risk for a low overall sperm count. Allan Pacey, deputy vice president and deputy dean of the faculty of biology, medicine and health at the University of Manchester said found that older models of phones have shown a higher effect on the impact of sperm count. He said, "I am intrigued by the observation that the biggest effect was apparently seen with older 2G and 3G phones compared to modern 4G and 5G versions. This is not something I am able to explain.”

True
by Apprentice (1.3k points)
I loved that you got your sources from few different credible sources instead of just sourcing from a random source with nothing to back up your claims. I think that the percentages and age range does help put it into perspective of what the data/statistics are stating. I found your answer to be easy to follow along with credibility behind your claims.
by Novice (920 points)
This is a great fact-check. I appreciate how you use good-quality sources to support the fact-check. As a reader, this makes your fact-check credible.  However, even though these two studies have supported this claim, other studies may not. Scientific studies are only credible and valid if they can be repeated and have the same effects. At this time, it would be important to note that more research needs to be conducted before this claim is entirely true.
0 votes
by Novice (750 points)

I believe this article is true. Though the Epoch Times is not known for being a reliable source even having their website banned in 35 countries. I did some more research and found the NIH( National Library of Medicine) did conduct a study where they found"  these devices emit a considerable amount of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) which could interact with the male reproductive system either by thermal or nonthermal mechanisms". The study did show signs on hurting fertility in males. I also wanted to make sure the author of the source was reliable which they were. It is Igor Gorpinchenko who studies urology at the Shupyk National Medicine Academy. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7727890/

https://scholar.google.com.ua/citations?user=leMA5wwAAAAJ&hl=uk

True
+1 vote
by Novice (960 points)

After further research, I believe this claim to be true. Although it is not a simple yes or no question. A study was published online in 2014 that explored the influence of direct mobile phone radiation and sperm quality. The studies main goal was "to investigate the direct in vitro influence of mobile phone radiation on sperm DNA fragmentation and motility parameters in healthy subjects with normozoospermia." The article goes into further details about their proceedings but eventually they reach a conclusion. The study results say that "a positive correlation was noted between the duration of semen samples placement in the area of mobile phone electromagnetic radiation and the level of DNA fragmentation: the increase of exposure term increases the frequency of DNA damage. Moreover the majority of DNA damaging occurs during first 2 hours of exposure." This proves that the cells had deteriorated after being exposed to the mobile phone's electromagnetic waves.

I took the liberty of looking into the original source, EPOCH HEALTH, as well. The website that I provided ends in .gov which means that the website address belongs to a government organization. While the original source ends in .com which stands for commercial organization. Which originally sparked some red flags for me but after looking into the author of the article, George Citroner, and his background in medicine I felt at ease.

 Overall I believe this source and statement to be accurate. I do think that this initial statement is very blunt and does not explain how complicated this topic is. Overall yes it is true but male fertility can be affected by many things. 

Sources:

Original source: https://www.theepochtimes.com/health/could-your-cellphone-be-hurting-your-fertility-5523930?welcomeuser=1

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4074720/#:~:text=Thus%2C%20according%20to%20the%20presented,leads%20to%20sperm%20DNA%20fragmentation.

True

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