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cancer from laptop computers?


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#1 grousemouse

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 11:05 AM

does anyone know of documented cases of people getting cancer from having their laptop computer sitting on their tummy for long periods? i'm just lying here and thinking that i have this pretty intense electromagnectic spectrum generator sitting on top of a lot of organs that are pretty important to me and am wondering if i'm mutating the merry hell out of them by parking my laptop computer there.

In latest news, the Italian entry for this year's Eurovision Song Contest, "I Can't Get No Contraception", has been withdrawn from the competition after the Pope advised them to pull it out at the last minute.

 

Source: Not The Nine O'Clock News.

 

 

 



#2 cattwomannc

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 11:22 AM

Grouse, I have no idea, but you just made me laugh thinking about how men used to 'cover' themselves in the vicinity of a microwave...

I don't think electromagnetic fields are all that dangerous unless you happen to have a pace-maker or defibrillator... but then I'm totally not a science geek, so what do I know?

I'm sure someone smarter than me will certainly come along and answer your question.
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#3 AirMarshall

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 11:48 AM

Grouse,
There is no reliable research to indicate that electromagnetic fields found in house appliances can induce cancer.

Second, there is no known mechanism for them to induce cancer.   The electromagnetic fields are "non-ionizing", meaning that they do not create cellular damage.   If they don't create cell damage, then there isn't any reason for cancer to develop, since cancer typically results from DNA damage which requires very high atomic energy levels.

Sources of ionizing radiation are high energy waves like Gamma rays, X-rays, beta and alpha particles.   Radio waves, that are NON-ionizing are known to create damage to the body, particularly to the cornea of the eyes, but they do so through thermal damage.   Unless you have worked with radars, or high power microwave (1 GigaHertz and up) directional antennas you are highly unlikely to experience any problems from them.  The one story that is in the poplular mind, is the policman who claimed he developed testicular cancer from resting his traffic radar in his crotch.  A claim that could not be proved conclusively.  BTW, manufacturers changed the transmitter designs so they would not be sued in the future.

As far as your exposure...Looking at my Dell laptop, the transformer shows a maximum capacity of 1.5 amps at 100volts AC, which equals 150 Watts.  This is a maximum capacity and the laptop probably draws no more than 60Watts, with all the drives running and the CPU running at 100%, which is almost impossible to do.

If yours has a block transformer built into the cord, then the output from it going into your laptop is DC, direct current.  That means that any magnectic fields will be static, that is not changing like AC would form.  A basic principle of electricity is that static fields can't induce a current, only changing fields.  So there is little or no potential to develop any induced voltages in your body cells.

One practical experience that eases any concerns I had is that of ships I have worked on.  Naval ships are have hundreds of high power cables running throughout the compartments.  Televisions onboard often have the screens distort and discolor due to the high magnetic fields.  Ships have been this way for nearly a hundred years.  If magnetic fields were either curing, or cancer causing, sailors would be either the healthiest or the sickest of our society.  They are neither.

In summary I have shown that your exposure to magnetic fields is very low, that there is no established link between electromagnetic fields and cancer.  


I have worked with radios and electronics for over 25 years.   Some agencies like the US Federal Communications Commision have set exposure standards for radio waves out of general concern, but formally admit that there is no scientific or medical justification for their standards.

Relax, happy computing!

A.M.    Oh, you stand a much greater chance of burning your skin from the heat sinks, so be careful.

Edited by AirMarshall, 09 November 2005 - 11:51 AM.

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#4 grousemouse

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 12:01 PM

thank you A.M.

that sets my mind at ease.

grouse

In latest news, the Italian entry for this year's Eurovision Song Contest, "I Can't Get No Contraception", has been withdrawn from the competition after the Pope advised them to pull it out at the last minute.

 

Source: Not The Nine O'Clock News.

 

 

 


#5 synthetic

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 12:22 PM

Grouse, just to be safe, it would probably be a good idea to go ahead and remove any organs you feel may have been compromised so that the cancer doesn't spread. 

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#6 AirMarshall

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 12:26 PM

Hey Grouse,

Amazon42 could always use another velvet spleen! ;)


A.M.

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#7 Guest_Stephie_*

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 10:07 AM

does anyone know of documented cases of people getting cancer from having their laptop computer sitting on their tummy for long periods? i'm just lying here and thinking that i have this pretty intense electromagnectic spectrum generator sitting on top of a lot of organs that are pretty important to me and am wondering if i'm mutating the merry hell out of them by parking my laptop computer there.



#8 Guest_Stephie_*

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 10:11 AM

does anyone know of documented cases of people getting cancer from having their laptop computer sitting on their tummy for long periods? i'm just lying here and thinking that i have this pretty intense electromagnectic spectrum generator sitting on top of a lot of organs that are pretty important to me and am wondering if i'm mutating the merry hell out of them by parking my laptop computer there.



Well, all I have is my own story. I have spent countless hours with the laptop on my lap and I recently was diagnosed with endometrial cancer, which is cancer of the uterus. I can't believe, I was always so careful of not living near power lines and thought those who did were fools, and here I go sitting with all that electricity on my gut for years. Anyway...

#9 Guest_juliska_*

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 05:15 PM

My flatmate got kidney cancer, a few years ago, really rare in someone so young(33) She was too advanced when they discovered it and died in 2004 after 8 months struggle.

My neighbour has recently got the all clear after being diagnosed with bowel cancer aged 27. Amazingly rare in a woman and so young. She recently told me she would often work from home, in bed, with a lap top on her stomach.

And guess what, my flat mate was exactly the same.

After a couple of years of asking why on earth her? This could be the answer.

Totally unproven but both women, both young it seems too much of a coincidence to ignore.

Sorry to be a downer!

J

#10 Guest_Karen_*

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 02:15 PM

does anyone know of documented cases of people getting cancer from having their laptop computer sitting on their tummy for long periods? i'm just lying here and thinking that i have this pretty intense electromagnectic spectrum generator sitting on top of a lot of organs that are pretty important to me and am wondering if i'm mutating the merry hell out of them by parking my laptop computer there.


I'm currently in treatment for Stage III rectal cancer --- absolutely no familial history of any kind of cancer. Otherwise, very fit & healthy. Many aspects of my health habits (anti-oxidant supplements, statins, low-fat diet, etc.) have been shown to prevent colorectal cancer. However, I've been using a laptop almost every day for past 5 years. In my mind, that is absolutely the culprit!!

#11 AirMarshall

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 04:01 PM

Karen, I'm sorry you are sick, and hope you recover quickly.

You can rest easy that your computer did NOT cause your cancer. It's a scientific fact. Please read my explanation above.

best,

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#12 null0trooper

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 04:24 PM

Many aspects of my health habits (anti-oxidant supplements, statins, low-fat diet, etc.) have been shown to prevent colorectal cancer.


These things may correlate to a reduced incidence in the overall population, but they have not been proven to prevent colorectal cancer in anyone. For all you know the cancer may well have started before you ever started playing with a laptop.

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#13 AirMarshall

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 04:28 PM

Let me amplify on the the likely causes of cancer:

Given no family history..

The immediate cause of cancer is mutation of a cell, by a change in its DNA. Cells replicate hundreds or thousands of times during our lifetime, and with tens of thousands of bonds, it is a likelihood that errors will eventually occur. Most aren't dangerous, a few are. This is the most likely cause of any cancer.

The occurence of Free Radicals within the cell or its mitochondria due to normal metabolic processes can damage the DNA.

Exposure to chemicals, natural or manmade, naturally occuring in the body or cells, may be a cause.

Exposure to ionizing radiation from various sources:

Cosmic radiation from outside our galaxy
Solar radiation from the sun
Xrays from the dentist or doctors
Radon in the air or water
Gamma radiation from granite countertops, or naturally occuring soils/rocks.
numerous other sources of Gamma, Beta, Alpha radiation

"Electronics are out to get me, right?"
TV's? No. TV's since the mid 1960's present no radiation hazard. (and prior to that it still wasn't the picture tube).

CRT, LCD, LED Monitors are totally safe. So is the wiring in your house.


Electricity has been in use for over 150 years in various forms. No one has shown it scientifically to cause cancers.

a.m. resident radio & electronics technician

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#14 ka-mai

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 06:16 PM

I have been an electrician for over twenty years. One of my duties as an electrician includes disconnecting and reconnecting electrical services. Most of the time this is done while the utility is still "hot", meaning that the wires are live. As long as certain precautions are taken, i.e., you're not grounded, wear gloves, and you handle conductors one at a time, this can be done safely. I also have done a bunch of troubleshooting on live circuits since that generally is the fastest way to find a fault. I've also been shocked more times than I care to remember.

In short, I have been exposed to very high amounts of electricity for at least the past 20 years, and it hasn't given me cancer. I'm crazy as hell, but other than that, I'm fine.

Karen, I'm really sorry about your health, but as an electrician who deals with high voltage regularly, my opinion is that it couldn't have come from the small amount of emf emitted by a laptop's power supply.

I hope my disagreement doesn't upset you, and I sincerely hope you can beat that monster.
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#15 Guest_Allen_*

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 11:54 AM

I'm no scientist but my theory is that while the electricity may not be the culprit, the heat is. Studies have shown that laptop computers can permanently damage male testicules and cause infertility. I hate the feeling inside when a laptop is on my body...its not the skin that bothers me but the internal organs.

God be with you and may you have a full and complete recovery.

#16 Artemisia

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 12:22 PM

OK, as AirMarshall said, non-ionizing radiation hasn't been shown to be carcinogenic. (Even if one day it turns out to cause cell damage, I'd bet anything that its effects are nothing in comparison to the all the other potentially dangerous things you do everyday--like eating peanut butter* (actual moldy peanuts would be worse, though).

The thing about laptops--and disposable diapers--is that they're suspected to reduce male fertility by keeping the 'nads too warm. (Warm 'nads are known to be bad for male fertility.) But these are just hypotheses; not enough research has been done on them to be able to tell either way.

The one thing we actually know is that boys born in the U.S. grow up to have lousier sperm than boys born abroad (who immigrate to the U.S. at a very young age). That's why disposable diapers are under suspicion. (Most people around the world still use cloth diapers, which don't get as hot; of course that's rapidly changing very rapidly.)

But so many other factors could be responsible for the lousy sperm in U.S.-born men that it's not even funny. Diapers may have something to do with it, they could turn out to be "innocent" just as easily...



*Aflatoxin B1, produced by a fungus that likes to grow on nuts, is one of the most potent carcinogens we know. Granted, the FDA has placed very strict rules on how many aflatoxin molecules can be found in peanut butter, but I doubt that every batch coming out of every peanut butter manufacturer actually gets screened.

Edited by Artemisia, 14 June 2008 - 12:24 PM.

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#17 AirMarshall

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 01:42 PM

*Aflatoxin B1, produced by a fungus that likes to grow on nuts, is one of the most potent carcinogens we know. Granted, the FDA has placed very strict rules on how many aflatoxin molecules can be found in peanut butter, but I doubt that every batch coming out of every peanut butter manufacturer actually gets screened.

Thank you for clarifying which nuts you are speaking of. ;)

And speaking of cancer and nether regions. Did you know the first cause and effect connection of cancer was that of scrotal cancer in London chimney sweeps caused by creosote.

a.m.

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#18 FreedomSeeker

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 02:31 AM

Really, you shouldn't use a laptop (despite its name) on your lap or stomach by itself, anyway. You could block the fan underneath, which could cause overheating and damage the computer. I use a lap desk, which keeps the computer steady and allows air to flow underneath.

AirMarshall, thanks for the explanations you gave; some bits are a bit over my head, but it's good to have someone here who's knowledgeable about such things. ;)

Edited by FreedomSeeker, 19 June 2008 - 02:32 AM.

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#19 graduation day

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 05:56 AM

Does anyone remember the tight pants theory? Here's a recap (from this site):

The dangers of wearing tight pants:
Lower sperm counts in males, infertility and testicular cancer.
Yeast infections and urinary tract infections in women
Limitation in the mobility of hip joints, causing stretching of joint capsules, and negative affect on the spine.

Too-tight waist constricts the abdominal area filled with vital organs, causing problems such as reduced lymph flow from the pelvis, improper immune system function and poor circulation.

Wearing "low riders" or "hip huggers" might result in compression of nerves, which leads to a burning and tingling feeling in the legs.


Yikes! I'm lying here, laptop on belly, belly in tight pants, coffee, sugar and milk in belly. I'm doomed. ;)
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#20 Artemisia

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 09:07 AM

*Aflatoxin B1, produced by a fungus that likes to grow on nuts, is one of the most potent carcinogens we know. Granted, the FDA has placed very strict rules on how many aflatoxin molecules can be found in peanut butter, but I doubt that every batch coming out of every peanut butter manufacturer actually gets screened.

Thank you for clarifying which nuts you are speaking of. ;)

And speaking of cancer and nether regions. Did you know the first cause and effect connection of cancer was that of scrotal cancer in London chimney sweeps caused by creosote.

a.m.

That pun was totally unindended. :) I think the fungus will grow on grains as well...

If I remember correctly, it wasn't just an English thing. Chimney boys were getting cancer everywhere there were chimneys. And either some English dude or some French dude told the chimney sweeps in his country to wash after work. The incidence of this cancer declined rapidly in that country as a result of that suggestion.
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