Laptop Radiation Shielding Technology – White Paper

Portable LapGuard blocks radiation shield

Laptop Radiation Shielding Technology

Protecting You and Your Reproductive System From Laptop Computer Radiation

Why Digital Innovations Offers Laptop Radiation Shielding to Consumers
Recent reporting has suggested that radiation and heat emitted from Wi-Fi enabled laptop computers can potentially be harmful to reproductive health. Though the science is as yet inconclusive, there are some who believe radiation emitted from laptop computers can even potentially cause cancer.

Awareness of laptop radiation is on the rise among consumers as well. According to a recent third-party survey commissioned by Digital Innovations, more than half of all laptop computer users are concerned about radiation emitted from laptops when using them on their laps.

Since laptop computers, in particular Wi-Fi enabled ones, are relatively new inventions, it may be years before the medical world fully understands the long-term effects of their use. However, forward-thinking individuals in decades past encouraged the population to avoid potentially dangerous activities (smoking is a noteworthy example) before their dangers were fully proven…and many healthy lives were preserved as a result.

In this spirit, DI developed LapGuard™ to provide peace of mind for the growing number of heavy laptop users who are concerned about potential health effects. And we did so by incorporating radiation shielding in a way that also provides comfort to the user and promotes laptop life.

What is Laptop Radiation?
Most people are familiar with terms like X-rays, radio waves, ultraviolet light, infrared radiation and microwaves.

We’ve all had an X-ray taken at the dentist. We’ve all used a microwave oven to cook our dinner. We’ve all used sunscreen and purchased sunglasses for their UV (ultraviolet) protection. However, with the exception of people possessing engineering or science backgrounds, few know what these terms mean outside of their common applications in everyday life.

In a nutshell, these terms describe various types of electromagnetic “waves” that exist along a spectrum organized by the “frequency” of each respective wave (frequency is the number of times a wave peaks per second). Frequency is important because it determines how the wave interacts with the world around it.

For example, frequencies within the “infrared” range are absorbed by our skin without damaging the molecular structures of our bodies. These waves feel like heat to us but are not normally harmful.

Frequencies within a slightly higher range are recognized by living beings as visible light because our eyes are sensitive to waves of that frequency. Scientists refer to this frequency range as the “visible spectrum,” but the rest of us simply know it as light. Our eyes are so sensitive to frequencies within the visible spectrum that we can even tell the different frequencies apart from each other. Specifically, light of a particular frequency within this range is known to us as “blue.” Another particular frequency is recognized by our eyes as “red,” and so on.

High frequency radiation (such as x-rays and gamma rays) carry a lot of energy and can be quite dangerous and harmful (which explains why the dentist makes you wear that heavy lead apron). This radiation is said to be “ionizing” because it has sufficient energy to remove an electron from an atom or molecule.

Other frequencies fall under the “microwave” spectrum. While not in the more harmful, ionizing range, such radiation can still cause damage if there is enough of it. We know that this is true because microwave ovens use sufficiently high intensities of this type of radiation to cook bacon or boil water within minutes.

Now that we know a little about radiation, let’s discuss the types of radiation you are exposed to when using a Wi-Fi enabled laptop computer in close proximity.

The Negative Effects of Microwave Radiation
Microwave frequencies are a subset of a frequency range known as “radio frequencies” or “RF” waves. The growing concern over RF waves is not just limited to laptops. Since cell phones, baby monitors, wireless routers, cordless phones and laptop computers all emit RF waves, we now live in constant exposure to radiation. The exposure is highest when our devices are used in close proximity to our bodies.

Think for a moment about your microwave oven (you know, the aforementioned device in your house that cooks bacon and boils water in minutes). Well, it happens to operate at a frequency of 2.45GHz. Your Wi-Fi enabled laptop computer? It operates at virtually the same frequency…either 2.4GHz or 2.5GHz. Granted, the amount of radiation emitted from your laptop is far less than that used for cooking in a microwave oven, but some scientists believe it can cause damage over time even at these much lower intensity levels.

For example, a November, 2010 article in Women’s Health stated that “early studies point to a heightened risk of testicular cancer for men who keep RF-emitting devices close to their belts.”

The article said evidence pertaining to women is less clear, but stated that “anything that might cause cancer always causes birth defects, so pregnant women-or those wanting to become pregnant soon-should take extra precautions.”

Not all researchers believe electromagnetic fields pose a health risk. For example, Douglas Miller from Kansas State University’s Committee on Man and Radiation (COMAR) stated the following in a 2002 article:  “Microwaves only have enough energy to heat molecules, while cell phones do not broadcast enough power to heat hands, heads, or anything else significantly.”

While the likelihood of health problems caused by RF devices is open to debate, the consequences if such health problems should prove true are undeniably high. For this reason, Digital Innovations believes the right thing to do is to build radiation shielding into its products where applicable.

The Negative Effects of Heat
Laptop computers, Wi-Fi enabled or not, can generate a lot of heat. This heat, when coupled with body heat, can, over time, negatively impact reproductive function for both males and females.

A March, 2011 Men’s Journal article, citing a study published in Fertility and Sterility, said “…just three hour-long laptop sessions can increase scrotal temperature, adversely affecting sperm production. Moreover, too much laptop time ‘may cause irreversible or partially reversible changes in male reproductive function.”

Health issues aside, this heat buildup can be uncomfortable for the user. And thanks to your natural 98.6-degree body temperature and the tendency for clothing to block fan openings, using a laptop on your lap makes it harder for your computer to keep cool too. This buildup of heat can place additional stress on the computer’s internal components, potentially causing computer malfunctions, reduction in battery life and even permanent damage to the computer, itself.

Shielding Laptop Users From Heat 
Lapdesks (which are laptop coolers or laptop cooling pads that are designed specifically for use with a laptop on the lap) can vary greatly in design based on the manufacturer. Generally speaking, most incorporate one or more cooling fans. In addition, some offer an underside layer of padding to enhance comfort on the legs as well as a heat conducting panel and/or ventilation system to direct warm air away from the user and the computer. While none do much for conducting your own body heat away from your reproductive area (which, some scientists suggest, can be reduced by working with your legs a few inches apart), Digital Innovations’ LapGuard™ and some of the higher quality laptop desks can substantially reduce heating of your reproductive area by shielding you from external heat generated by a lap-based computer.

Shielding Laptop Users From Microwave Radiation
While there are many high-quality lap desks and cooling pads on the market designed to address user comfort and the issue of heating discussed above, none have also offered protection from Wi-Fi radiation…until LapGuard™.

LapGuard™ with Radiation Shielding Technology: Protect Yourself From Heat and More
In creating LapGuard, we started with our radiation shielding (and patent pending) conducting metal plate design, which reflects electromagnetic radiation emitted from a lap-based laptop computer away from your lap area. We then built this technology into two very high-quality lap desk designs. The first features a thicker padding for maximum comfort and an angled viewing/typing platform. The second employs a flatter, thinner padding to promote portability while still maintaining a good basic level of comfort. Both feature whisper quiet, USB-powered fans, a heat-conducting metal panel, and a highly porous padding and mesh fabric that help keep both your lap and your computer cool.

Protection and Comfort: Only From LapGuard
Only LapGuard gives you piece of mind that your reproductive system is being protected from laptop heat and Wi-Fi radiation, while keeping your computer cool and providing maximum comfort.

Digital Innovations LapGuard™ products:

Lapguard with Radiation Shielding for Laptops

LapGuard™ with Radiation Shielding Technology (part # 4290500)

Portable Lapguard with Radiation Shielding

Portable LapGuard™ with Radiation Shielding Technology (part # 4290400)

© 2011 Digital Innovations, LLC
Digital Innovations, LLC
Arlington Heights, IL