There's been a lot of hubbub in the news recently about the potential risks of cellular phones. Do they cause cancer? How much cancer are they going to cause? Will the cancer roll over from month to month?
Well, the cancer thing seems to have been overblown, but apparently the jury is still out on a whole host of much weirder effects your phone could (could) be having on you right now. For instance ...
7It Might Be Killing Your Sperm
Let's clear something up first:
All cellphones, if you haven't heard, emit electromagnetic radiation. The study of what this radiation does to the body is relatively new. So for instance, for a while people thought maybe holding a phone up to your head all day caused brain tumors, and that wasn't dispelled until very recently, when somebody finally did a huge study that found that they don't.
That swelling you're experiencing is a normal symptom of the average smartphone user.
So when you see all of these headlines on the Internet about the negative health effects of cellphones, what we have are smaller studies that indicate some kind of weird effect (i.e., a phone can fry a man's balls), and we're all waiting for somebody to fund a larger, longer-term study to find out for sure (if cellphones are frying men's balls).
Which brings us to a couple of studies that indicate cellphones might be frying men's balls.
Also, phones can cause short-term memory loss, so here's some studies about frying balls.
It started a few years ago when researchers at the Cleveland Clinic found that men who used cellphones a lot (more than four hours a day) consistently had lower sperm quality. OK, that could be something other than the phones themselves -- maybe low-sperm guys just like phones, where more virile dudes like to conduct all of their meetings face to face because there is a better chance of spontaneous sex.
A lot of you are clearly compensating for something.
So, they tested it. They gathered sperm from a few dozen men and, while keeping it all at the same temperature/conditions, put half of it in front of a cellphone and left the other half alone. On average, the doctors found an 85 percent increase in the amount of free radicals in the phone semen (if you don't remember what free radicals are from chemistry class, just know that sperm don't like them).
We know what you're thinking: "I don't put my phone up to my crotch except for when I'm having phone sex! Because I don't know how phone sex works!" But the problem is headsets -- when you are using a headset or earpiece, you tend to leave the phone in your pocket, or in your lap. If you're a dude, that's next to your nuts.
If you're a girl, adding one phone to each bra cup oddly won't do any harm at all.
Again, that's just one study, and they admit the conditions in the lab didn't perfectly imitate those you find inside a human ball sack. Further study is needed, so they're probably looking for irradiated scrotum subjects if you know anyone who wants to volunteer. Maybe you'll turn into some kind of testicle-themed superhero!
6It Could Be Ruining Your Children
This one is quite a bit weirder.
A huge study has shown that women who regularly expose their children to cellphone emissions, both while pregnant and after birth, are 50 percent more likely to have children with behavioral problems. And we're talking about numbers that held up across a study of almost 100,000 mothers and nearly 30,000 children. That's a hell of a lot to write off to coincidence.
Yet just about enough to write off in a massive traffic accident.
Now, our readers are smart people, and we realize 80 percent of you have already asked your computer, "Could it be that phone users have bad kids because these horrible mothers are on their phones all the time instead of raising their goddamned children?" But their experiments tried to control for that; it didn't matter how much or how little time the mother spent giving direct attention to the kid, or whether or not they were breast fed, or anything else. The only difference was phone usage.
"I'd like to talk about my prepaid plan. Yes, I'm a baby."
The theory goes that cellphone emissions are causing an excess of melatonin (a hormone that regulates several bodily functions) in the mother. This can affect the mother's metabolism and doodle with the development of the fetus's brain.
Meanwhile, there are still scientists insisting that cellphone radiation can disrupt DNA strands, even though conventional wisdom has always been that microwave radiation can't do that. They say they can show the results in mice and rabbits and that, you guessed it, further study is needed.
And someone desperately needs to scrape their remains off the walls.