Is laptop radiation danger real? How can you protect yourself from laptop radiation? There is a lot of myths and misinformation about the levels of radiation emitted by laptops. However this is an important issue as more and more people are becoming connected to the digital highway and using a wide array of electronic devices. According to the New York Times almost 60% of Americans between 18 and 30 now own at least one laptop.
We know that most electronic devices emit low levels of radioactive energy. We know this because microwaves, televisions, laptops, computers cellphones and other electronic devices generate electromagnetic radiation or EMF. However these home electronic devices emit what is considered low energy, on-ionizing radiation. This energy does not reach the level of breaking chemical bonds. This means that it does not remove electrons or ionize atoms .It only excites the electrons.
Higher energy ionizing energy, – that is associated with ionizing radiation from nuclear sources, causes health problems such as skin cancer DNA brain cell damage, certain kinds of cancers even, suicide, miscarriage and asthma
While the home electronic devices may emit low energy the issue becomes tricky because more and more people have to use these devices for extended periods of time. There are people who place their laptops on their laps for hours on end while working from home or when traveling- including myself. Kids are now spending hours on Ipads and laptops playing games.
A few studies have been carried out to investigate the effects of laptop radiation.
Most of the radiation from laptops comes from the internal parts such as the memory chips and hard drive. However the real concern is the higher levels of Wireless Radiation (from WIFI) and vibration effect according to a report by the BBC. .
It is recommended that one should limit their exposure to electromagnetic fields of 1- 3 mG (mill Gauss). However a laptop, when placed on the lap or in direct contact with the body emits as much as 175mG! This is as much as 60 times the recommended levels.
A 2011 study published in Fertility and Sterility places the blame squarely on the WiFi. Semen sample of 29 healthy Argentinean men were compared .Some of the semen was placed under a laptop with WIFi while others were kept at the same temperature but away from the laptop. For those placed under the laptop with WiFi, 25% of the sperms stopped swimming compared to about 15% for those not placed under the laptop with WiFi.
Laptops also pose additional health hazard. They emit heat which you can feel if you place a laptop on your lap. If you have ever done so for a long period- you may have felt a lot of heat and even a tingling sensational around your groin area. This heat may pose even greater risk to your health than the radiation levels. This kind of heat is known as called “thermal radiation”. According to a university study, all devices or even bodies including the human body that emits heat also emit radiation. While this heat is low energy and is considered low risk, placing it near ones’ reproductive organs has been found to have negative health effects.
The heat can also cause skin damage or “toasted skin syndrome“.
Normal cellular function such as sperms generation and survival happens in tightly controlled temperatures. These temperatures should not be altered. Radiation can cause premature cell division. If cells divide before proper DNA is established this can lead to defects or mutations. In extreme cases, the heat emanating from laptops has led to infertility in both men and women. Studies show that sperms are more at risk- when scrotal temperature is raised beyond normal levels- than are ovaries. In a study men who worked on their laptops when placed on their laps for long hours demonstrated lower sperm count, and even less healthy sperm than those who did not. A study showed that placing your laptop on your scrotum for one hour increase the scrotal /testicular temperature by 2.7 degrees Celsius.
The vibration effect of the laptop has also been found to damages cells such as reproductive ones especially those that are temperature sensitive.
The Laptop screens have also an attracted some attention. Some studies show that they can pose danger to the eyes. However others say that they only cause fatigue. The effect on the eyes is caused by the set up of your laptop or computer. If you set your brightness levels to too high, sit too close to the screen and the height of the monitor may all affect your eyes negatively. Laptops with LCDs, rather than the old CRT screens, are much easier on the eyes.
.How to protect yourself
When buying a computer and or laptop make sure that it has a US Department of Health Human service label confirming that it is tested for safe levels of radiation.
Keeping a safe distance from electronic devices is very important. Avoid placing your laptop on your lap and place it toward your thighs or on a desk. You should make sure that your laptop is as far away from your body as practically possible. Some people try to use a pillow as a buffer between their laptops and their bodies. However this is not recommended because it stops the laptops from cooling down which can damage it. This results in the production of additional heat.
Pregnant women should keep the Laptop away from their abdomen.
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However there are also various tools in the market that can help reduce radiation emission from a laptop.These are Laptop radiation Pads. These pads do reduce the EMF that is detected by a meter. A quality Laptop Mount can place your laptop 3- 6 inches away from your body. This mount can also absorb heat. There are Laptop screen protectors that can reduce up to 99% of the ELF/VLF E Fields. Some people use Radiation grounding mats to protect themselves.
It is clear that laptop radiation-may not kill you-but it can negatively affect your health. While the effect may not be dramatic and noticeable- it can be hazardous over a long period of time. Using some precautions even some protective tools –especially for kids-that spend a lot of time with electronic devices is advisable. Please share this story with your friends and family. Sharing buttons are below. Click here to download a hard copy (PDF) of this story for future reference or to share with family and friends.No email sign up required.
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