Don’t let the name ‘laptop’ fool you. Laptops aren’t safe – and can even be dangerous – to use in your lap. And the longer you use your laptop in your lap and near your reproductive organs and stomach, the greater the dangers to your health. In fact, many laptop companies specifically warn against using their products on your lap, though oftentimes these warnings go unseen or ignored by consumers. Which brings us to SYB Healthy Living Tip #43: Laptops Aren’t For Laps.
Table of Contents
What is Laptop Radiation
Like cell phones, and almost all modern wireless devices, laptops emit electromagnetic (or EMF) radiation.
There are two types of EMF radiation emitted by your laptop.
1) Radio Frequency
Also called ‘RF’ or microwave radiation, radio frequency is the type of EMF radiation our devices use to communicate wirelessly.
Our laptops are actually a source of multiple types of RF radiation, depending on what features are built into them. The wifi and Bluetooth connections are two very common sources of RF from your laptop.
2) Low Frequency
Low frequency (or ELF) radiation is emitted by any device that runs on AC power. The inner machinery of your laptop – like your computer processor – emits ELF simply by operating. And your laptop emits a lot more ELF when it is plugged in, charging and running off of AC power.
Both RF and ELF forms of EMF radiation have been shown to cause numerous negative health effects, and the World Health Organization lists both types as Class 2B Carcinogens.
In addition, your laptop is a significant source of heat. Heat is another force that can cause numerous negative health effects.
How Are Laptops and Cell Phones Similar? And How Are They Different?
As mentioned above, laptops and cell phones emit the same types of EMF radiation. So how similar are they, and how are they different?
Differences in Heat
As anyone who has worked with their laptops on their bare skin knows, laptops generally emit much more heat than a cell phone. (This is why laptops come with such powerful – and noisy – fans.)
Differences in RF Radiation
Laptops *tend* to emit less RF radiation than a cell phone with an active cell connection. But this is not always true: it depends on the specific details of the laptop and phone you’re comparing (some laptops even come with 5G now) and what you are doing on them.
For example, when you’re streaming an HD movie on Netflix, your laptop emits a lot more RF radiation than when you’re just checking email. And your laptop emits less RF radiation when the Bluetooth is off (even if your wifi is on).
Differences in ELF Radiation
Laptops can also emit much more low-frequency electric and magnetic radiation than a cell phone, because their internal mechanics tend to be much more powerful than those in a phone. And it’s much more common to use a laptop when it’s plugged into AC power.
Comparing Cell Phones and Laptops
This is all by way of saying, to know exactly how much radiation your laptop is emitting (and whether it’s more or less than your cell phone), the only way is to test for yourself.
Health Dangers of Laptop Radiation in Laps
As we’ve just seen, laptops and cell phones emit the same harmful types of radiation. So if you’re concerned about your cell phone’s radiation emissions, you should definitely have the same concerns about your laptop.
And this means that all of the studies linking cell phone radiation to negative health effects also apply to exposure to radiation from your laptop.
These negative health effects include immediate-term conditions like fatigue, dizziness, headaches, breathlessness and insomnia, as well as longer-term and more significant health risks ranging from infertility to cancer.
That said, there are a number of health dangers, concerns and side effects specifically linked to using your laptop in your lap.
Heat and Burns
One of the most obvious sources of health dangers from using a laptop on your lap, legs or stomach (or anywhere against your body) is the heat.
Laptops can get hot. Really hot. We’ve all felt it.
All that heat is more than just uncomfortable – it’s a real health risk.
In fact, all EMF regulations and safety limits in the United States (and much of the world) are based around the thermal effect. (In actual fact, these safety limits are vastly insufficient; but that’s a separate discussion.)
These safety limits exist because everyone acknowledges that when human tissue is heated, DNA damage occurs. The type of damage that leads to cancer.
There is some debate, and on-going scientific research, into the precise temperature at which this damage begins to occur. (And in any event, the precise temperature would vary from person to person, because of differences in the physiology of different individuals.)
But, when your laptop gets too hot, and it’s right against your body, that’s a risk to your health. This health risk is undisputed; there is absolutely no debate as to whether this is a risk. It is. (This is also why sunburns are considered dangerous and a cause of melanoma.)
There is a very large, and continually growing, body of science linking exposure to EMF radiation from cell phones to male infertility and subfertility.
And, as I’ve already mentioned, laptops emit the same type of radiation as cell phones. So it makes sense that EMF emissions from your laptop can also harm male fertility.
Fortunately, we don’t have to rely just on the cell phone studies. There are some studies specifically on laptops and fertility.
In one 2012 study published in the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, researchers found that just four hours of exposure to wifi radiation from a laptop led to decreased sperm motility (a key indicator of sperm health) and a notable increase in the DNA fragmentation of sperm.
Of note, researchers highlighted the fact that this damage to sperm occurred at ‘nonthermal’ levels – in other words, it was just the EMF radiation that yielded this damage, not the laptop’s heat emissions.
A study from Japan (conducted in 2018, published in 2019) also found that wifi radiation kills sperm. The researcher, Kumiko Nakata, divided subjects into three groups:
- In one group, sperm was exposed to electromagnetic fields (EMF) from a pocket wifi router.
- In another group, sperm samples were exposed to electromagnetic waves but wifi EMF protection was used as a shield.
- The third group was a control group with no EMF exposure.
“After two hours…the motility rate of the control group was 53.3 per cent, the shield group was 44.9 per cent, and the exposed group was much lower at 26.4 per cent.”
So, after just two hours, the group exposed to wifi radiation had half the quantity of viable sperm as the group with no exposure.
And, the effect got stronger over time (what is called in science a “dose-response” relationship). After 24 hours, “the dead sperm rate of the control group was 8.4 per cent, the shield group was 18.2 per cent, and exposed group was 23.3 per cent, the latter being significantly higher.”
There are even multiple studies from Dr. De-Kun Li from Kaiser Permanente demonstrating that EMF exposure in the womb can lead to the development of asthma later in life.
When it comes to laptops specifically, a 2012 study found that pregnant women (and their fetuses) can be exposed to more EMF radiation from a laptop, than from high voltage power lines. And these fields can induce current densities 182-263% higher than safety limits in the fetus, and 71-483% higher than safety limits for the pregnant mother.
The development of cancer is very difficult, exceedingly expensive, and incredibly time-consuming to study. This is because tumors can take decades to form.
When it comes to cancer and laptops, specifically, the body of science is not yet substantial. But again, we can make some educated guesses.
After all, your laptop emits the same type of radiation from cell phones that has been linked to cancer in numerous studies.
And, as I discussed above, your laptop emits a significant amount of heat. This type of heat is a genotoxic force that damages and mutates DNA and can cause the formation of cancerous tumors.
What to Do Instead of Putting Your Laptop on Your Lap
Use Your Laptop on a Desk or Table
Now, when I advise you not to use your laptop on your lap, I’m not saying you shouldn’t use your laptop at all. Obviously not. In fact, I’m writing this post on my laptop.
But I’m using my laptop on my desk – not on my lap.
And that makes a huge difference.
Because, when it comes to EMF, distance matters. A lot.
In fact, the power of EMF weakens exponentially with distance. That means, when you double the distance between your body and the source of the EMF, the power of the EMF is cut by 75%!
So, every inch matters. Just as you shouldn’t use your cell phone against your head, or carry it in your pocket or bra, the same applies for using laptops. The further away you can keep your laptop when in use, the better.
And this is another example of why I constantly say the best EMF protection is free.
Use the Battery When Possible
As I mentioned above, AC power is a significant source of ELF in devices like computers. So, when you’re using your laptop on its battery instead of plugged into the wall, it’s emitting less EMF.
I know this isn’t always possible– the charge on a rechargeable battery doesn’t last forever after all.
But, if you can, unplug your laptop when it’s in use.
Use our EMF Radiation Shielding SYB Laptop Pad
Now, there are some times when you need or want to use your laptop in your lap.
For instance, if you’re working on your laptop while you’re traveling or commuting on the bus or subway. Or if you prefer writing while curled up on your couch.
In these cases, you should use a laptop EMF shield. This is exactly why we make our SYB Laptop Pad, which makes it safer to use your laptop in your lap.
Introducing the SYB Laptop Pad
The SYB Laptop Pad is a tailor-made piece of technology, designed specifically to combat these radiation sources and keep them to a minimum.
The SYB Laptop Pad is designed specifically to counteract the effect of heat, EMF, and ELF (Extremely Low Frequency radiation) by deflecting the radiation away from your body.
The most important factor with any shielding product is the technical design and specifications. The Laptop Pad’s outer layer is made from a special silicon-plastic hybrid, soft enough to be comfortable on your lap, but with plenty of grip to keep your laptop in place.
More importantly, the inner layer of ferromagnetic steel and aluminum plating is what deflects up to 92% of wifi, EMF, and ELF radiation away from your body. As well as deflecting EMF radiation, it acts as a heat sink to absorb thermal energy before it can reach your skin.
Available in Multiple Sizes and Colors
Our Pad comes in two convenient sizes, enough to cover almost every laptop, tablet and other digital device on the market.
In fact, our SYB Laptop Pad for laptops up to 17″ is the largest laptop EMF protection device available. At 12″x16″, it’s large enough for every 17″ laptop we’ve ever seen.
Since your laptop is effectively a metallic hub of EMF and heat radiation, you should always place a layer of protection between you and the device. The problem is that most protective laptop pads don’t cover large laptops. Let’s think about that for a second. All of the emissions from a laptop (thermal, EMF, and ELF radiation) are compounded when you increase the size of the device.
Protection is even more important with laptops reaching the 17” mark, yet few manufacturers cater to this market. Until now.
Effective Laptop EMF Protection, Guaranteed
Needless to say, our Pad had to be stylish. It’s super-slim and incredibly neat given its size, while the textured surface is designed to retain significant grip, stopping your laptop from sliding off at steep angles.
Stylish, compact and available in multiple colors, our Laptop Pad is uniquely designed to offer comfort, thermal shielding and EMF protection in one neat, affordable package.
Thanks to our extensive in-house product testing, we know that our Laptop Pad performs better than anything else on the market. The key to this technology is its core, a layer of ferromagnetic steel and aluminum plating, which acts as a Faraday Cage, repelling RF (radio frequency) and ELF (extremely low frequency) ranges of EMF radiation.
See how powerful our SYB Laptop Pad is for yourself, as we test with three separate EMF meters.
Since EMF radiation has been officially classed as a Class 2B carcinogen by the World Health Organization, we’re incredibly proud to offer this product. In terms of aesthetics, the steel layer is thin and light, which allows the Laptop Pad to remain incredibly portable. And the Pad is available in multiple colors to accommodate your personal tastes.
Using SYB Laptop EMF Protection
Actually putting the Laptop Pad into action couldn’t be easier.
Because of its ultra-thin design, you can carry it in any rucksack alongside your laptop, and all you have to do is pop it between your legs and the laptop, and you’re good to go. No need to find a full-sized desk to keep radiation at a distance, or lean awkwardly over your coffee table for hours on end (you could also be saving yourself a host of back problems further down the line).
There’s no power switch or anything complicated, just a simple, effective piece of hardware. You’ll be protected from ELF and EMF radiation, less heat energy will dissipate into your thighs, and you can inject a bit of color into your environment.
Following the tips above will make a huge impact on your health and safety. Where comfortable and possible, use your laptop on a table or desk. For times when you need to use it in your lap, the SYB Laptop Pad is the ideal solution.