Avoiding “toasted skin” is just the beginning – protect yourself from infertility and worse.
Have you ever noticed a sponge-patterned skin discoloration on your thighs? If so—and you use a laptop computer—you may be literally “roasting” your skin.
Last week, the journal Pediatrics reported on a 12-year-old boy with this condition. “He recognized that the laptop got hot on the left side,” researchers say, “however, regardless of that, he did not change its position.”
A Virginia law school student suffered a similar ugly rash, resembling skin damage from long-term sun exposure, after using her laptop approximately six hours a day. The temperature underneath her computer registered 125 degrees F. Unfortunately, ugly skin discoloration isn’t the only problem with holding a computer on your lap.
“The heat generated from laptops can impact sperm production and development,” says Suzanne Kavic, MD, director of the division of reproductive endocrinology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, “making it difficult to conceive down the road.” Currently, experts attribute 40% of couples’ inability to conceive to males.
Dr. Ann Louise’s Take:
“Toasted skin” is just the tip of the iceberg. As my latest book Zapped shows, while your laptop is connected to its AC power adaptor, it can cause high AC magnetic and AC electric field exposure. And your computer can emit harmful electric magnetic fields (EMFs) even when it’s not connected to a power adaptor, especially when you’re logged on through a wireless internet connection.
“Cells in the body react to EMFs as potentially harmful, just like other environmental toxins,” says Martin Blank, PhD, associate professor of physiology and cellular biophysics at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. “The DNA in living cells recognizes electromagnetic fields at even very low levels of exposure and produces a biochemical stress response.” Different parts of the body absorb radiation in different intensities, and reproductive tissue appears particularly vulnerable.
Biochemical stress from electropollution can affect a man’s testosterone, and sperm production and maturation, potentially leading to erectile dysfunction. For example, a 2008 study shows that cell phones can reduce sperm motility and vitality, negatively impacting fertility.
In women, biochemical stress may reduce blood flow to the reproductive organs and interfere with proteins in the uterine lining involved in implantation of a fertilized egg. It’s especially important to limit EMF exposure during pregnancy as it can impact the baby’s development—long before birth.
Experts also suggest that chronic stress—and believe me, electropollution stresses our bodies 24/7—accounts for 30% of fertility problems today. And EMF exposure has been linked not only to poor sperm quality, but also to miscarriage and fetal abnormalities after conception.
Be Smart with Technology
Despite their name, laptops belong on a desk or tabletop—and manufacturers like Apple and Dell will tell you that. Also, avoid using a wireless internet connection whenever possible and plug in to a wired network. Learn more about this in my latest book Zapped, where you’ll find over 1,200 ways to outsmart the hazards of electronic pollution.
How Zapped Are You?
Getting “un-zapped” doesn’t have to be a major undertaking. Take the quiz at areyouzapped.com/quiz and start identifying simple changes you can make to protect you and your family from the dangers of EMFs.
Zapped: Why Your Cell Phone Shouldn’t Be Your Alarm Clock and 1,268 Ways to Outsmart the Hazards of Electronic Pollution