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Newly developed underwear promises to protect men from harmful reproductive effects of cell phone radiation

Cell phone radiation

(NaturalNews) The company Belly Armor, which got its start selling products to protect pregnant women from the radiation emitted by mobile devices, now sells underwear that it says can protect men from the fertility-damaging effects of carrying cell phones in their pockets.

The boxer briefs are being sold under the trademark RadiaShield. Belly Armor says that the underwear has been shown in independent tests to block radiation, in order "to protect men's reproductive organs and maintain fertility health."

In recent years, the rate of fertility problems in middle- and high-income countries has climbed to an astonishing 14 percent. Some researchers have suggested that one cause may be the widespread adoption of cellular phones and other mobile device technology -- which operate by emitting microwave radiation and are often carried in the pocket near the reproductive organs.

Shielding fabric protects fertility

According to Belly Armor co-founders Aileen Chen and Michael Lam, the inspiration for RadiaShield boxer briefs came from a 2007 study by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, which linked cell phone use in men to lower semen quality.

The underwear, which costs $49 apiece, is made of the company's RadiaShield Fabric, which contains a thin layer of silver foil.

"RadiaShield® Fabric shields everyday radiation by neutralizing (through reflection and absorption) incoming electromagnetic waves, canceling out the ambient radiation and reducing your exposure," the company says.

According to Belly Armor, "the same shielding approach... is used in industrial and military applications."

RadiaShield Fabric "has been independently tested in FCC-certified and NVLAP-accredited labs to have shielding effectiveness of 99.9% for the range of everyday radiation," the company says.

BellyArmor advertises the underwear as machine-washable, breathable, soft to the touch, lightweight (weighing less than the equivalent amount of T-shirt fabric) and free of allergens and toxins including heavy metals and dangerous dyes.

The company uses the same fabric to make products for pregnant women, including belly bands, belly blankets, maternity tops and nursing covers.

Evidence of risks mounts

Company spokesperson Katherine Niefeld noted that, in spite of a growing body of research, there has been little popular coverage of the risks of cell phone radiation to male fertility.

"If you're a guy, how are you going to know that putting your cellphone in your pocket will do things to your sperm," Niefeld said, as reported by the New York Post.

According to a study led by researchers from the University of Exeter and published in the journal Environment International on June 9, men who are exposed to more radiation from cell phones have lower sperm quality than men with less exposure. The risk increases if men keep their cell phones in their pockets more often, and with phones that give off more radiation.

"This study strongly suggests that being exposed to radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation from carrying mobiles in trouser pockets negatively affects sperm quality," lead researcher Fiona Mathews said. "This could be particularly important for men already on the borderline of infertility, and further research is required to determine the full clinical implications for the general population."

It remains unclear by what mechanism cell phone radiation might damage sperm. Scientists have suggested that the heat generated by the radiation might interfere with sperm production. Some studies have shown that magnetic fields generated by cell phones can increase the production of free radicals, leading to DNA damage.

Studies also suggest that wireless internet signals from other mobile devices have similar effects.

"For example, recent evidence found wifi from laptops also negatively affected sperm quality," the researchers wrote. "A better understanding of the collective influence of environmental factors on sperm quality and subsequent fertility, will help improve treatment, advice and support for individuals seeking fertility treatment."

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