Cell phones may be hazardous to your health

By Karen Abernathy - bio | email

More than three billion people use cell phones worldwide. Americans average about 13 hours a month talking on cell phones. But how much do you know about the risks of using cell phones?

There's some new information about the possible downsides of cell phone use you may not be aware of, that may have you thinking twice before you make your next call.

Men beware! a new study shows cell phone usage may be linked to infertility problems.  Sperm health and sperm count are being studied at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio.

Ashok Aganwai, PhD, is the Director for Reproductive Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. He says they found, "There was degradation in the quality of the sperm in the group which was exposed to the cell phone for one hour."

Men who used their cell phones for more than four hours per day had the lowest quality of sperm.

That's not the only potential risk:

-Another recent study showed heavy cell phone use is linked to a 50-percent increased risk for developing tumors of the salivary gland.

-Studies show it takes twice as long for a person to fall asleep after talking on a cell phone for just 30 minutes.

-Studies show you could get what doctors call "mobile phone dermatitis" or a rash on the face, in reaction to the nickel in some cell phones.

-Your hands aren't free of risk either. Those who send a lot of texts may be at risk for "blackberry thumb" -- sore digits from overuse and repetition.

Experts also fear the younger you start using a cell phone regularly, the greater your risks.  To minimize the potential risks, experts recommend using hands-free devices, and hold the phone away from the body. Less frequent calls that are shorter in duration may also be a good precautionary step.

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