Example: [Collected via e-mail, December 2005]
I was recently told by a friend, that using a laptop computer (while on your lap of course) will generate so much heat it will kill your sperm and make you infertile. Is this true?
Origins: Sometimes modern technology provides risks that aren't readily apparent, as appears to be the case with guys' using laptop computers balanced in their laps
A 2004 study from the State University of
The potential problems for men related to laptop use was deemed to be due not only to the heat generated by the machines, but also to the sitting positions employed by the users. "As well as being capable of producing direct local heat, [laptops] require the user to sit with his thighs close together to balance the machine, trapping the scrotum," explained Yefim Sheynkin, the researcher who led the study.
As to how serious the effect might be, the study noted: "We don't know the exact frequency and time of heat exposure capable of producing reversible or irreversible changes in spermatogenesis [the production of sperm]. Studies have shown significant but reversible changes after short-term heating. However, [laptop computers] produce significant repetitive transient scrotal hyperthermia for years, and insufficient recovery time between heat exposures may cause irreversible or partially reversible changes in male reproductive function."
Ergo, fellas, if fatherhood is in your plans, you might want to steady your laptops on tables rather than on your persons, at least until additional studies better identify the possible risks involved.
Barbara "hot rods are dangerous to your reproductive health" Mikkelson
Last updated: 29 February 2008
Doulin, Tim. "Laptops' Heat Could Impair Male Fertility, Study Finds." Columbus Dispatch. 1 January 2005 (p. C4). Haigh, Charlotte. "Making Babies: The Facts and the Fiction." The Mirror. 21 March 2007 (Features, p. 27). Hilpern, Kate. "Low Fertility: The Daddy of All Problems." Belfast Telegraph. 11 October 2005. Lister, Sam. "Careful, Lads, That Laptop Might Burn Your Genes." The [London] Times. 9 December 2004. Susman, Carolyn. "Young Men Should Keep Laptops Off Their Lap." Palm Beach Post. 20 June 2007 (p. E3).