Tohoku J. Exp. Med., 2019 July, 248(3)

Review

Adverse Effects of Wi-Fi Radiation on Male Reproductive System: A Systematic Review

FARAH HANAN FATHIHAH JAFFAR,1 KHAIRUL OSMAN,2 NUR HILWANI ISMAIL,1,3 KOK-YONG CHIN4 and SITI FATIMAH IBRAHIM1

1Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), UKM Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
3School of Biology, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Selangor, Malaysia
4Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Extensive use of Wi-Fi has contributed to radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) pollution in environment. Various studies have been conducted to evaluate the effect of RF-EMR emitted by Wi-Fi transmitter on male reproduction health. However, there are conflicting findings between studies. Thus, this review aims to elucidate the possible effects of 2.45 GHz Wi-Fi exposure on both animal and human male reproductive system. A computerized database search performed through MEDLINE via Ovid and PUBMED with the following set of keywords: ‘Wi-Fi or WiFi or wireless fidelity or Wi-Fi router or WiFi router or electromagnetic or radiofrequency radiation' AND ‘sperm or spermatozoa or spermatogenesis or semen or seminal plasma or testes or testis or testosterone or male reproduction' had returned 526 articles. Only 17 studies conformed to pre-set inclusion criterion. Additional records identified through Google Scholar and reviewed article further revealed six eligible articles. A total of 23 articles were used for data extraction, including 15 studies on rats, three studies on mice, and five studies on human health. Sperm count, motility and DNA integrity were the most affected parameters when exposed to RF-EMR emitted by Wi-Fi transmitter. Unfortunately, sperm viability and morphology were inconclusive. Structural and/or physiological analyses of the testes showed degenerative changes, reduced testosterone level, increased apoptotic cells, and DNA damage. These effects were mainly due to the elevation of testicular temperature and oxidative stress activity. In conclusion, exposure towards 2.45 GHz RF-EMR emitted by Wi-Fi transmitter is hazardous on the male reproductive system.

Key words —— oxidative stress; radiofrequency radiation; sperm quality; testes; Wi-Fi

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Tohoku J. Exp. Med., 2019, 248, 169-179

Correspondence: Siti Fatimah Ibrahim, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Jalan Yaacob Latif, Bandar Tun Razak, Cheras, Wilayah Persekutuan, Kuala Lumpur 56000, Malaysia.

e-mail: timi@ukm.edu.my