We all know that laptops emit electromagnetic fields (EMF) and radio frequency (RF) radiation. It’s a scientific fact, which has been demonstrated in numerous studies over the years, but what we’re still learning about is just how harmful this kind of radiation is to our bodies.
If you are concerned about this topic, this article should help you learn more about EMF radiation and provide tips on making your laptop safer for your health.
How Much Radiation Does a Laptop Emit?
Radiation is essentially the emission of energy from a particular kind of source such as an x-ray, nuclear material, and yes our smartphones and laptops too. This radiation is measured across a spectrum known as the electromagnetic spectrum. The instrument of measurement used on this spectrum is called radiofrequency, or in easier words, radio waves and microwaves.
There are natural sources that we are exposed to such as the sun and the earth, but there are man-made radiofrequency radiation sources that can be more harmful to the human body in the long term, such as laptops.
A laptop that is connected to Wi-Fi on average will emit anywhere from .21mW/m2 to 4.8mW/m2 if you are anywhere from three feet away to an inch away, or resting it on your lap.
Do Laptops Emit More Radiation than Phones?
We know that laptops produce, emit radiofrequency radiation (RF), and extremely low frequency (ELF) that when we are within just a few feet of our laptops we begin to be susceptible to the radio frequencies that the laptop is emitting.
But do our laptops really give off more radiation than our smartphones?
The answer is yes and no. Smartphones generally emit higher volumes of microwave radiation than laptops do since our cell phones are in constant communication with the network of cell towers everywhere, but laptops emit more electromagnetic waves (EM).
How Can This Radiation Affect the Human body?
The electromagnetic field emitted by your laptop can have several effects on the human body.
- Eye strain is a common symptom of radiation exposure, and it’s easy to overlook. You might start noticing problems with dry eyes or blurry vision if you're using your laptop more often than usual. One study found that computer users were more likely to experience eye strain than non-computer users.
- Headaches are another common issue associated with electromagnetic radiation exposure, including those caused by laptops. If you don't normally get headaches (and especially if you've never had any), they could be due to your new computer—or at least exacerbated by it! In one study, researchers found that nearly half of participants who used laptops reported experiencing headaches within an hour after use; most people got better within two hours after stopping their computers from being used for a few minutes.
- Insomnia is another symptom of electromagnetic radiation exposure associated with laptops; however, insomnia is also linked to many other factors like stress levels and lack of physical activity during the day—which may explain why only about 20% of participants in one study said that having this problem was related specifically from using their computers too much each day.
Tips on how to limit the radiation emitted from Laptops
- This advice is meant to help limit the risks from laptop radiation: If you use a laptop, place it on a table or a desk when possible. Or use a portable lap desk that is specifically designed and lab tested to block radiation and serve as a buffer when you don’t have access to a nearby table or a desk.
- Don't place your laptop on a pillow as a lap cushion. This would interfere with air flow, which is necessary to prevent the laptop from overheating. Overheating or malfunctioning of your laptop may occur.
- Whenever it’s planned to put your laptop on your lap, choose a cover that blocks both Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) electromagnetic radiation (EMR) and higher-frequency Radio Frequency (RF) signals such as Wi-Fi and 5G transmissions, along with Heat Radiation.