In today’s digital age, everyone has access to information through laptops and other handheld devices. Laptops make students, professionals, and work-at-home moms more productive. They’re also a source of entertainment in every home, but at the same time, they emit a significant amount of EMF radiation.
The World Health Organization declares electromagnetic radiation toxic to human health. Like other wireless devices that communicate through Wi-Fi, laptops use RF waves. According to a research paper in 2011 by the International Agency for Research and Cancer (IARC), Radio Frequency (RF) waves are carcinogenic to humans.
We may place a laptop on our lap while typing or on our stomach while watching our favorite show. Even when using it on your desktop, it is still close to your body. And depending on how close you place the laptop, you’re exposed to different forms of EMF radiation.
This comprehensive guide will talk about forms of radiation emitted by laptops and measures you can take to lower your radiation exposure while using them.
Let’s get started!
Do laptops emit EMF radiation?
A laptop does emit different forms of electromagnetic radiation and radio waves across the electromagnetic spectrum. Your laptop emits electric fields and magnetic fields like any other electronic device. It also emits Radio Frequency waves from its two-way communication through Wi-Fi and Bluetooth antenna.
Due to the proximity of the laptop to your body, exposure to electromagnetic radiation is a given.
Generally, laptops emit up to 150 milliGauss (mG) of electromagnetic radiation. But this number can vary based on the programs running on them.
There are times when your laptop is running a virus scanner, updating software, and downloading software patches. During these moments, it emits different levels of electromagnetic radiation. Therefore, it is hard to get an exact estimate of the EMF measurement of your laptop.
Additionally, when the laptop runs background programs, it requires more power, thus emitting more electromagnetic fields. And when it is on and charging, it emits higher levels of EMF than when it is switched off and unplugged.
Understanding these EMF fluctuations can give an idea of your exposure level and know the measures you can take to protect yourself.
Let’s look in detail at the sources of laptop radiation and why you should be aware of them.
If you want to learn more about EMF radiation, I recommend The Non-Tinfoil Guide to EMFs eBook. This book explains EMF radiation and its dangers. It is a great read!
What are the forms of radiation emitted by the laptop?
Your laptop emits different kinds of radiation, including:
- 400 – 800 Hz of EMF from the laptop screen–the light from your screen that allows you to see information displayed on your computer.
- 10 – 100 Hz of infrared radiation. All parts of your laptop go through a thermal emission process every day. And since all the objects are made of atoms with a temperature, they give off infrared radiation.
- 2.4 – 5 GHz of Radio Frequency Radiation (RF). Your laptop gives off RF radiation when you switch on the Wi-Fi antenna that connects to the wireless network. As the device sends and receives packets when you surf the internet or stream videos, it emits high levels of RF radiation.
- 2.4 GHz of EMF radiation. These are radio waves (RF) emitted by Bluetooth antennas. The Bluetooth antenna allows wireless connection of peripheral devices such as cordless keyboards or mouses to your laptop. These devices enable two-way communication through electromagnetic waves.
- Low-frequency electromagnetic radiation. The electronic circuit inside the laptop leaks small amounts of low-frequency radio waves. As the current flows through the wires in the circuitry, it emits a small amount of electromagnetic radiation. The LCD and the motherboard emit the highest amount of magnetic radiation.
- Gamma rays and nuclear radiation. Nuclear radiation results from the decay of natural radioactive atoms and unstable isotopes of objects in the laptop. The nuclear radiation emitted is weak and forms part of the background radiation from your laptop.
Can laptops emit EMFs when closed?
If your laptop is closed or in hibernate mode, it doesn’t transmit any RF signals. However, the CMOS battery that maintains the small clock inside emits a small amount of magnetic field radiation, although not a measurable amount detected outside the casing.
In addition, if the laptop it’s not connected to the charger, you don’t have to worry about magnetic fields emitted. But if it’s connected to the charger, it emits some energy outside.
If the laptop is powered on, the circuit board and other connected components emit some EMFs.
Effects of laptop radiation
When you place your laptop on your lap, you’re exposing your lower body to 40 -100 mG of radiation, higher than the recommended level. If you have an older laptop, it will emit more EMFs.
Close proximity to your laptop will impact your body tissue, fertility, and sleep. Also, the heat and RF waves can affect sperm count if you place the laptop on your lap or stomach for more extended periods.
And that’s not all. There are concerns about how radiation affects sperm quality and the fragmentation of DNA.
Also, pregnant women shouldn’t place laptops on their laps or stomach without protection. According to a study published by Duke University in the Journal of Fertilization in 2013, exposure to computer and cell phone radiation led to increased chances of miscarriage.
So, if it’s a must to place your laptop on your lap, use an EMF protective blanket like the one from DefenderShield.
I have also created an article about the best EMF shielding blankets you can check out here.
The heat generated by the laptop can affect your skin pigmentation, which may have lasting effects on the skin on your legs.
6 Steps to reduce laptop radiation
Given the dangers of laptop radiation, let’s look at ways you can protect yourself.
1. Place your laptop on a desk
To start with, you should place your laptop on a desk or away from your lap. Always ensure a distance between your lap and the laptop to disperse EMFs. It is recommended to maintain a distance of 20 cm between you and the laptop, which helps reduce the impact of EMFs and the heat generated by the computer.
2. Use radiation shields
Radiation shields block most of the EMFs produced by laptops. If you can’t keep your distance, look for a quality EMF shielding laptop case to protect yourself.
The shield ensures your safety as it protects against further damage to your body tissue and organs. It is necessary to invest in a good shield and use them every time you’re working on your laptop.
3. Turn off the Wi-Fi
It is recommended that you disconnect the internet or turn off the Wi-Fi feature when not required. This way, your laptop emits lower levels of electromagnetic radiation. Turning off the Wi-Fi on your laptop eliminates exposure to RF waves.
Only turn on Wi-Fi when needed. Alternatively, you can connect to an ethernet cable to access the internet instead of using Wi-Fi. Ethernet cables provide you with reliable access to the internet and, at the same time, reduce exposure to EMF radiation.
Even when streaming a video, the laptop emits high levels of EMFs, so don’t place the computer on your lap to watch or download movies.
Avoid using YouTube and Video chats that emit strong EMFs. If you have to download files, place the laptop away from your body.
4. Disable Bluetooth
Bluetooth antenna/radio is another source of RF radiation in your laptop. When you have a Bluetooth device connected to your laptop, it will emit RF radiation as the computer continues to search for the Bluetooth device.
To avoid this type of radiation, you need to disable the laptop’s Bluetooth feature since there is no device it needs to connect to.
5. Monitor your laptop usage
The damage to EMF exposure from your laptop is cumulative. The less time you spend on your laptop, the lower the exposure. Although the effects of prolonged exposure won’t show immediately, those who are electromagnetic hypersensitive can experience the symptoms immediately.
Therefore, it is crucial to monitor your usage to know the level of exposure and what type of radiation you can handle. If you want to be on the safe side, you need to understand your exposure levels from different forms of radiation and take steps to reduce it.
6. Unplug the charger
When computers are charging, they should not be used. Laptops, like mobile phones, release the most radiation while they are charging. If you are going to use the Wi-Fi internet, it is always preferable to disconnect your devices before using them.
If your battery is full, unplug the charger and let it run on battery power. Laptop chargers emit electric and magnetic fields radiation when charging your laptop, increasing radiation exposure. Therefore, limit the usage of your laptop when charging to reduce your exposure to EMF radiation.
In this age of technology and computing, everyone is eager to match the pace. Since you can stay away from your laptop, it is essential to take adequate measures to keep safe. With just a few steps, you can reduce the impact of laptop radiation on your body.
If you can’t stay away from your laptop, it is vital to invest in an anti-radiation pad to block all EMF radiation from your laptop. Please have a look at my recommended laptop radiation shields that help you reduce the level of exposure.
Additionally, you should invest in a quality EMF meter to know the levels of exposure near you. My article can help you choose the best EMF meter based on your budget and needs.