Are you the kind of guy that uses his laptop computer in your lap? Many of us do this when we are in our car or even seated on our couch while we watch TV. If we don’t most of our children and granchildren do.

According to research presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine 66th Annual Meeting, exposure to laptop computers might adversely affect male fertility by inducing DNA fragmentation and decreasing progressive motility.
In this study which evaluated the effect of laptop computers receiving wireless Internet signals on human spermatozoa, researchers evaluated semen samples from 15 men. The collected samples were separated into 2 incubation groups: one that was exposed to a laptop computer receiving a WiFi signal for 4 hours, and another that did not have this exposure.

Both sperm groups were kept at a controlled temperature (25 °C) to rule out thermal effects. After a brief four-hour exposure the results showed significant DNA damage and decreased sperm motility in the laptop-exposed group!

The lead researcher, Conrado Avendano, PhD, Director of Research at the Nascentis Reproductive Medical Center in Cordoba, Argentina said “In addition, we evaluated sperm DNA fragmentation and saw that after incubation under the laptop, the percentage of spermatozoa with DNA damage was increased more than in the unexposed group.”

According to Dr. Avendano these findings regarding sperm motility and DNA fragmentation raise concerns about the effect of laptops on male fertility. What Dr. Avendano did not say is that there is also a possibility that laptop computer radiation might also contribute to the development of both testicular and prostate cancer.

So, not only should you keep your computer out of your lap, make sure that your children and grandchildren follow the same precaution. When there is DNA damage cancer is often peeking around the corner.

Joel T Nowak, M.A., M.S.W.