Do you use a laptop regularly? Do you often place the device in your lap? If so, you’re not alone. Many of us use laptops every day, and sometimes these are placed in our laps. However, some people are worried that having a laptop close to the body can be harmful. Is that true?
In this article, we’ll take a look at laptops and the types of radiation they put off. Then we’ll review the findings of studies and see if our devices really can make us sick in some way.
Does Your Laptop Emit Radiation?
The answer is yes, all laptops emit radiation. These devices put off EMFs, like other electrical appliances and devices we use, including cell phones. Even the appliances in your kitchen put off EMFs. Basically, anything that’s plugged in and running puts off electromagnetic fields.
There are two types of EMF radiation, which are ionising and non-ionising. Ionising EMFs are high-level radiation that can cause cell damage. So, these are harmful to your health.
On the other hand, non-ionising radiation is low-level and is considered to be harmless to your health.
Your Laptop’s Emissions
OK, so how does this involve your laptop? Laptops emit non-ionising radiation, Radio Frequency (RF) radiation, as well and Extremely Low Frequencies (ELFs).
RFs: laptops connect to the Internet through WiFi and uses Bluetooth. These connections are made through the receiver and transmitter inside the device. The transmitter is what produces RF radiation.
ELFs: this type of radiation is created when the laptop converts electrical energy into functions. You know that spreadsheet you were working on? Your laptop was converting electricity into the functions you were using. The electricity made the processor, memory, and more run. ELFs are produced by the circuits inside the laptop. They radiate out through the device’s shell.
Thermal emissions: this is another type of emission coming from your device. When your laptop runs, it creates heat, which the device expels through the fan and vents. Laptops can become very hot, especially the longer they’re used.
Are these emissions from your laptop harmful?
Laptops & EMFs
When it comes to research, there’s not much out there that really provides data one way or another. There are some scientists who say the EMFs produced by the laptop are low energy, and therefore are safe. However, there are others who say EMFs, even from the laptop, are dangerous to humans.
One thing most do agree on is that laptops do become very hot. For this reason, the FCC and others have recommended that laptops should not be used in the lap. Instead, they should be placed 8 inches above your lap. This would place the devices on a desk or table. Used in this way, rather than on your lap, the heat is dissipated into the desk or table rather than your lap and legs.
However, it’s still best to keep the device at arm’s length on a hard surface. This way, you can lower exposure to all EMFs and heat. Studies have found that keeping your laptop 8 inches off your lap and 12 inches away from your body is the best way to lower EMF exposure.
What About Laptop Shields?
That’s a question that’s sometimes asked by people who are concerned about their exposure to EMFs. Laptop shields or protectors are a pad that’s made out material that protects you from all forms of EMF radiation. They work by creating a layer between you and your laptop, which keeps radiation and heat from touching your body. The pads are made of metallic material that’s like a fine mesh.
There’s a problem with the shields that not many people discuss. It’s the fact that the laptop shields are able to focus EMFs on one side (the side the blocks the source of the radiation). This means that this site has more EMFs. This means the radiation is still reaching your body, as it’s being reflected by the shield. What’s more, the pads increase the intensity of the EMFs.
So, laptop shields are not a good way to keep your laptop’s EMFs from reaching your body.
Distance is the Key
To really protect yourself from a laptop’s EMFs, distance is the key. Keeping your laptop 12 inches away from your torso and 8 inches from your lap/legs is recommended. To achieve this, the best thing you can do is use a wired keyboard and mouse.
A wired keyboard and mouse reduce keep you from touching the device’s keyboard. You also won’t be touching the wireless mouse, which puts your hand in touch with RF radiation from the Bluetooth.
Another thing you can do is to turn off your device’s WiFi connection. Instead, connect your laptop to the Internet through a wired connection to reduce EMFs.
Using wired connections is the best way to reduce EMF exposure. If it’s not possible to go with wired connections, don’t worry. There are still some things you can do.
1). Put your laptop on a desk or table.
2). Don’t charge the device while you use it. Let it run on battery power. When it’s not charging, you’ll reduce the EMFs.
3). Avoid using YouTube and video chats as these can create stronger EMFs. Download files, too, when the laptop is not close to your body.
4). Turn off any EMF radiation source that you’re not using.
5). Turn off the WiFi.
6). Turn off Bluetooth.
Concerned About EMF Exposure in Your Home?
If you’re also concerned about EMF exposure from other sources in your home, it’s helpful to call an EMF surveyor to come and do an inspection. They will inspect your home inside and out, searching for EMF sources.
When the survey is finished, the inspector will then create a report that lists any issues they found. The report may also contain advice on how to deal with the sources of EMFs in order to reduce exposure.
And remember—distance is the key. Maintaining distance between you and your laptop or your other electrical devices will limit your exposure. Distance is the easiest way to decrease exposure to EMFs.