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Wearing Cell Phones On Hips May Weaken Bones

Oct 29, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP Some emerging research is pointing to problems with weakening bones in the area of the body where cell phones are worn. WebMD said that the research suggests that a specific pelvis area could be affected when cell phones are worn on the hip over a period of time.

The area of the pelvis involved is that section that is typically used for bone grafting. Researchers from the Suleyman Demireli University located in Turkey used an X-ray technique commonly employed on patients suffering from osteoporosis to measure male bone density and diagnose osteoporosis, said WebMD, The study team looked at 150 men who routinely wore cell phones on their belts for about 15 hours daily and had been using cell phones for an average of about six years, noted WebMD. The average age of the men was 32.

The recent research revealed that the men’s “bone mineral density” measured as being somewhat reduced on the side of the pelvis where the phones were typically carried, versus the side in which the cell phone was not usually carried, said WebMD. Although the difference was not considered statistically significant, the findings could suggest an adverse reaction in bone density due to cell phone electromagnetic transmissions said researcher Tolga Atay, MD, and colleagues, according to WebMD.

One concern is that an increased risk of osteoporosis could be seen in older men, said WebMD, a group not studied in this review. The study appears in September’s Journal of Craniofacial Surgery and is “among the first,” said WebMD, to make a connection between long-term cell phone exposure and weakening of the bones.

Hundreds of studies have looked at cell phones’ impact on human health, with a focus on the link between cell phone use and cancer; however, the results have been varied, noted WebMD. Many believe longer-term studies are needed, given that cell phones are a relatively new technology.

Concerns over the possible health consequences of cell phone use are growing.  Earlier this week, we reported that the World Health Organization (WHO) would soon be publishing the results of its groundbreaking Interphone study.  A preliminary analysis of the WHO study’s data found a “significantly increased risk” of some brain tumors “related to use of mobile phones for a period of 10 years or more.” The Interphone project conducted studies in 13 countries, interviewing tumor sufferers and people in good health to see whether their use phone use differed. Interviews were conducted with 12,800 people between 2000 and 2004.

Last year we wrote that researchers from the Cleveland Clinic warned that cell phone use, including hands-free devices, can affect male fertility.  The information appeared in the journal Fertility and Sterility.

The study researchers warned men to ensure that the devices are not kept in proximity to their testicles. It seems that the men who use hand-free cell phone devices have a tendency to keep the phones in their pants pocket or clipped to the waist belts when the phones are in talk mode.  

Earlier research from the same group indicated that emitted radiofrequency electromagnetic waves from cell phones can impair sperm quality; last year’s study explains why this occurs.  It seems that semen exposed to radiofrequency electromagnetic waves emitted from cell phones had higher levels of damaging free radicals, lower sperm motility—which is the sperm’s ability to move and swim and is necessary for procreation—and lower sperm viability, which relates to the number of live sperm.  Exposure may also cause greater oxidative stress.  There were no significant differences in DNA damage between the exposed and unexposed groups.


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