Like microwaves and cell phones, laptops too have been subjected to a discernible amount of fear-inducing lore claiming they give off radiation—especially when placed on your lap. But there hasn’t been tons of evidence or fact-based campaigns supporting this claim. Recently however, one writer at MEL Magazine dove deep into the science of lithium batteries and discovered that there’s indeed enough research to signal some dangers.
The risks have nothing to do with the universal myth that radiofrequency waves emitted by your wifi connection will render you sterile, however. These waves are far too weak to alter a man’s biology. Instead, the primary cause of laptop-related impairments has to do with the heat emissions. One such effect is known as scrotal hyperthermia, a condition that lowers a man’s ability to manufacture sperm. The ailment also significantly weakens the sperm’s ability to fertilize an egg.
As reported, a study in the journal Human Reproduction found that having your laptop on your lap for as little as an hour can cause a man’s scrotal temperature to rise 23 degrees, from a normal 80 up to 103. That temp is abnormally high considering a man’s testicles biologically sag to stay away from your body heat, which sits at around 98 degrees.
What’s worse is that this damage is irreversible, and sandwiching a cushion between your body and the laptop doesn’t make much of a difference. If it does, it’s fractional.
The good news is that this ailment rarely has long-term effects. Your genitalia will work overtime to regain its sperm-making abilities as long as you stop cooking your testes. MEL adds that scrotal hyperthermia is so effective at killing sperm that it’s actually being tested as a form of male birth control.
Another common ailment caused by a laptop’s proximity to a man’s baby maker is called toasted skin syndrome, a condition originally applied to cowboys who sat too close to a fire for too long. Apparently, this outcome is also possible when we spend too much time browsing the web and searching for a porn we haven’t already jerked it to. Known among the medical community as erythema ab igne, the ailment resembles a “red, sponge-patterned rash” that occurs when skin is exposed to prolonged infrared heat. Unlike scrotal hyperthermia, however, these effects are typically permanent and have even been linked to cancer.
If ailments known as toasted skin syndrome and scrotal hypothermia aren’t powerful enough to encourage the use of a desk or table while browsing the web, it’s safe to assume nothing will.