EMF Health-effects Research

Semen quality and hormone levels among radiofrequency heater operators.

Grajewski B, Cox C, Schrader SM, Murray WE, Edwards RM, Turner TW, Smith JM, Shekar SS, Evenson DP, Simon SD, Conover DL,

J Occup Environ Med 42(10):993-1005, 2000

Approximately 9,000,000 US workers are occupationally exposed to radiogrequency (RF) radiation; over 250,000 operate RF dielectric heaters.

Our purpose was to determine whether male RF heater operators experience increased adverse reproductive effects reflected in reduced semen quality or altered hormone levels.

We measured incident RF heater radiation exposures and RF-induced foot currents at four companies. For 12 male heater operators and a comparison group of 34 RF-unexposed men, we measured 33 parameters of semen quality and four serum hormones.

Despite wide variation in individual exposure levels, near field strengths and induced foot currents did not exceed current standard levels and guidelines.

We observed minor semen quality and hormonal differences between the groups, including a slightly higher mean follicle-stimulating hormone level for exposed operators (7.6 vs 5.8 mIU/mL). Further occupational studies of RF-exposed men may be warranted.

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