As with any radio signal based electronic devices, laptops too emit harmful electromagnetic frequency (EMF) waves that can be dangerous to users. Another danger from laptops is the amount of heat we absorb while working on it. Thankfully, there are solutions for reducing the effects of both laptop radiation and laptop heat while working on a laptop. We’ll discuss these methods in this article.
Do Laptops give away Radiation?
The answer from me would be an undoubtedly NO. But since most laptops, probably including yours, are connected to Wi-Fi for the Internet, they are dangerous… as much as Wi-Fi can be dangerous. A laptop by itself does not create any probable problematic magnetic field. Unless connected to Wi-Fi, the only issue from the laptop is the heat, and you are good as long as you don’t place the laptop on your lap. You can put it on a table, use a heat-absorption pad, or something else to avoid the heat. There are pads available on the Internet that absorb probable radiation and heat both.
I have seen many people using a pillow as an absorption pad. That is, they place a pillow on their lap and then put their laptop on the pillow. It is even more dangerous as the heat will be trapped inside the laptop and will enter your body through your wrists and hands as you type or use the touchpad. Neither is keeping the laptop on the bed, a good idea. It is same as keeping it on a pillow. There are laptop tables available on the Internet and having one will allow proper ventilation and dispersion of heat and radiation. You can also buy them on Amazon.
The EMF radiation from laptops is the same as that of cell phones, microwaves, and radio streaming devices. That too when you are connected to a wireless Internet such as router Wi-Fi. I can’t say if USB Dongles providing Internet can be any danger as I couldn’t find much about that on the Internet. But they might – because they work on the lines of cell phones.
Prolonged high amounts of Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) exposure, are known to cause fatigue, dizziness, headaches, breathlessness, insomnia, etc. Some reports suggest that such prolonged high-level exposure can also cause fertility problems as well as cell and DNA damage. But others say that such reports are inconclusive. Nevertheless, there is no harm in taking precautions.
How to protect yourself from Laptop Radiation
This part talks of two things you can do to reduce laptop radiation. The first thing to protect yourself is to keep Wi-Fi usage to a minimum and if possible, switch to wired connections. The second thing is to use a laptop base shield. There are many designs available so you can pick one that you keeps you comfortable while working.
As suggested in the previous section, laptops emit radiation only when connected to wireless Internet, such as Wi-Fi. So the best option would be to turn off the Wi-Fi when you don’t need it. Alternatively, you can hook up to the Internet using an Ethernet cable. Just check out if your laptop has an Ethernet port. Most of them have one.
Assuming that you work from the same place every day, it would be much safer if you use an Ethernet connection and turn off Wi-Fi from either the laptop or from the router itself. Ethernet cables are not expensive, and you can easily get them at your local electronic outlets. You just have to measure the length of the cable you need so that it can be connected to router and laptop.
However, this may not always be feasible due to many factors such as you can’t work sitting at one place and if you work in your bedroom but still need to move the laptop to the living room when meeting clients or friends. In the latter case, you can use LAN cable in the room you work and Wi-Fi in the living room. Just an idea…
One of the things we were talking in the first section of this post was a laptop base that would absorb both heat and radiation from laptops. Practically, instead of placing laptop directly on yourself, you keep it on a Laptop Base that rests on your lap. Thus, reducing the harmful radiations to almost neutral. Most of these laptop bases are available under $100. Some may be costlier, but that depends on the brand and other features in the base.
Do not use laptops when charging them. Just like cell phones, laptops too emit maximum radiation when charging. It is always better to unplug and then use them if you are going to use WiFi Internet.
If you are not using any wireless connection, you need not worry about how to protect yourself from laptop radiation. Well, at least if your neighbors aren’t using strong WiFi.
Read next: Mobile Phones Health Hazards, Risks and Dangers.