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What is Laptop Radiation?

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  • Written By: Jacob Queen
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 09 December 2016
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Laptop radiation comes in a couple of very different forms. First of all, laptops produce internal heat because of the computing processes going on, and this is called thermal radiation. Secondly, there is the radiation that comes from an electromagnetic field (EMF), and laptops, like any other electronic device, also produce an EMF. Sometimes laptops create significantly more electromagnetic radiation than most electronic equipment because of the wireless Internet technology they use. There are experts who worry that laptop radiation could lead to illnesses, but there is also a lot of scientific skepticism about these concerns.

One danger that is generally better established is the potential of thermal radiation burns from laptops. Basically, it is generally possible for people to be injured by leaving laptops on their laps for too long. Laptops get fairly hot sometimes, and experts suggest there are actual cases where this has led to injuries. One way for people to avoid this is to use their laptops on some other kind of surface, and many people do this already.

Another potential danger from thermal laptop radiation is lowered sperm count. There is some evidence showing that sperm may die out when a man’s testicles become too warm. If a man sits a laptop over his genital area for a long time, the heat could potentially cause this problem, and there are some case studies suggesting that it may happen in some instances.

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The electromagnetic laptop radiation is the variety that people are often the most worried about. This type of radiation can potentially cause cancer or radiation poisoning, but the doses required are considered very high. Most experts suggest that laptop radiation levels never get high enough to cause these dangers, but some people don’t trust these findings. The fact that people often keep laptops very close to their bodies is one of the reasons that some have become particularly concerned about potential dangers.

Wireless technology in general has caused a lot of concern for some people because of the radiation it produces. For example, there have been some publicized studies suggesting cell phones might cause brain cancer, but these have been heavily disputed, and many scientists don’t believe they are accurate. Laptops with wireless Internet have caused similar concerns, although many people are more worried about the potential for cancer in the reproductive organs when it comes to laptop radiation.

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anon989620
Post 3

What if I have my laptop on my stomach for at least 12 hours a day?

anon307945
Post 2

One such study recently published (2012) can be found in the American Society of Reproductive Medicine's journal, Fertility and Sterility, vol 97 issue 1, "Use of laptop computers connected to internet through Wifi decreases human sperm motility and increases sperm DNA fragmentation".

anon238901
Post 1

Nice job at keeping it relatively "even" on both sides, but the side saying that the electromagnetic radiation coming from laptops is dangerous have essentially zero good studies to offer as evidence just tiny studies. It would have been nice to hear some more skepticism on these claims in your article.

The part about the internal heat radiation was good and informative.

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