Center for Safer Wireless
Promoting Safety in Our Wireless World

Wireless Laptops
 Today's Laptops Are Wireless Whether You Need It or Not

Most laptops sold today have wireless transmitters and antennas that emit radiofrequency radiation to transfer data.  The computer is configured to use this wireless technology whether you operate a wireless or cabled computer network.  If you use cable access to your computer network, the wireless transmitter in the laptop could still be enabled and operating. 

Similar to Wi-Fi, cordless phones, ereaders, cell phones etc, wireless laptops send (and receive) millions of bits of information via the laptop’s wireless card to a receiving unit such as a Wi-Fi router. These laptops also emit other forms of electromagnetic radiation such as alternating current (AC) magnetic fields and electric fields.

 Concerns about Wireless Laptops

People often place laptops on their laps when using these computers.  Yet, the bottom of a typical laptop emits high amounts of AC magnetic fields.  For example, AC magnetic fields at the bottom of a Fujitsu Lifebook Model A6025 measure 35 milligauss. According to the Building Biology Evaluation Guidelines for alternating current magnetic fields, measurements above 5 milligauss are of extreme concern. 


July 24, 2010. First in the world research on motility of spermatozoa when exposed to the radiation from laptops has been released from Nascentis, a reproductive medicine center located in Córdoba, Argentina.  Conrado Avendaño, a biochemist specializing in andrology, in collaboration with Ariela Mata, reproductive biology specialist and César Sánchez Sarmiento, director of the medical center, found that when spermatozoa are exposed to radiation from a laptop the spermatozoa’s motility is impaired.  When researchers inspected the sperm’s DNA integrity, they found sperm cells with fragmented (broken) DNA.  This groundbreaking research is important because previous research on reproductive medicine found that damaged DNA molecules of sperm cause problems in fertilization and embryonic development.  Though the authors suggest more research in this area, they recommend that men keep laptops off of their legs.