This review is aimed to summarize the literature concerning the effect
of the exposure to non-ionizing electromagnetic fields (EMFs) of human origin on
male reproduction. In particular, we addressed our attention in examining the papers
concerning static magnetic fields (SMFs), extremely-low frequency electromagnetic
fields (ELF-EMFs), microwaves (MW) and radio frequencies (RF).
These EMFs are produced by the technological activity, during medical imaging
examinations, in transport and use of electricity, and by telecommunication devices.
Consequently, it is virtually impossible to avoid their presence in houses,
schools, hospitals, as well as in public places or in workplaces. Recently, ELFEMFs
and RF have been classified as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” by the International
Agency for Research on Cancer and they have attracted the attention of public and of scientists, because
of the concerns about their possible negative effect on human and animal health. In this context,
it is of great interest to assess their effect on male reproductive health. Unfortunately, the epidemiological
studies carried out until now failed to give a clear evidence of the risk associated with
the EMFs exposure for several reasons: it is impossible to define a “typical” exposure profile, the
level of risk has the same order of magnitude of the background, and therefore more extensive studies
are required. Animal and cellular model also give inconclusive and contradictory results likely
due to the difficulty in standardizing the experimental models and due to the exposure physical parameters.
In conclusion, a further great research effort would be needed to clarify this controversial
and important topic.