Tablet Computer Radiation: More Than You Bargained For?

Tablet Radiation

Tablet RadiationTablets seem like the perfect gift. Not too expensive, extremely useful and very convenient. Tablets come in all shapes and sizes. There is the Samsung Galaxy, Apple iPad, Google Nexus and even the Amazon Fire. And don’t forget the e-Readers: Barnes and Noble Nooks, Kobo Touches, and, of course, the amazing Amazon Kindles.

Because of supply and demand, the price points are highly attractive and getting more affordable. Everyone wants to sell you one to make your life easier. Don’t have money? That’s okay, because you can put it on layaway. Tablets are the latest and greatest technology to add to your gadget-loving collection. Don’t forget, you need one for each member of your family, too!

Welcome to the Bandwagon

Nearly 1/3 of Americans own a tablet and their numbers are increasing. If statistics are accurate, there will be more tablets than PCs sold in very near future. But before you join the crowd and surround yourself with gadgets, you might want to consider the concern some experts are now voicing. Tablet computers, we are reminded, are fairly new electronic devices, emitting tablet computer radiation with health effects yet to be fully understood.

Tablet computer sales are increasing.
Figure 1. Tablets are projected to outsell computers by 2015.

Research Is Piling Up

If you care about your health, what is known now warrants your attention. Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) exposure has been correlated with a multitude of disease states and conditions. Some research articles even suggest radiation is an environmental toxin that synergizes with deleterious chemicals to cause amplified human harm. Non-ionizing radiation originating from electronic devices, such as tablets, has been linked to various cancers, male infertility, autism, sleep disorders, mood and personality dysfunction, etc. The sheer number of studies to-date correlating long-term Electromagnetic Radiation exposure with these types of illness is suggestive, if not persuasive.

Really?

You may wonder if tablet computer radiation could really be so harmful and ask yourself “If this were true, why haven’t I heard about it sooner?

Unless you read scientific journals, there are several factors to consider as to why you might not have heard about the potentially harmful tablet computer radiation emissions. First, news outlets, where most people get their information, only report on stories interesting to most people. For example: If someone used a tablet and died instantly from electrocution, then this would make front page news. If someone used a tablet for 10 years and slowly developed abnormal changes that lead to cancer, this would probably not be that exciting of a story. There is no sense of urgency or call for immediate action. According to research, the health effects from Electromagnetic Radiation can take years develop. You can use your tablet for 10 or more years before you might develop symptoms.

Second, tablets have only become popular in the last few years. Most industry experts credit Apple with the boom of the iPad in 2010. Previous iterations of tablets fell by the consumer wayside and weren’t purchased by the masses. Tablets are so new and so varied, they have literally taken the consumer market by storm. Thus, research focused specifically on tablets has been oblique at best. Most research has been done on Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) in general emitted or on more established devices, such as laptops and cell phones. With the exponential growth of tablets though, expect to see more research shortly.

Tech Timeline
Figure 2. Tablets are late entries into the market. Source: AllThingsD.com.

Conclusion

Proving that there exists a connection between tablet computer radiation and health issues is challenging. Many variables impact human health, so thorough research is needed in order to isolate the effects of one factor such as tablet computer radiation from the rest of the other factors which cause disease. Extrapolation can be done on current available research. Tests that have been conducted on animals, such as mice, can be extended to determine adverse events that would likely also happen in humans.

The fact that EMR can be harmful implies that one should minimize the amount of tablet computer radiation one is exposed to. Even the iPad manual cautions to minimize exposure to iPad radiation by limiting the amount of time using the iPad and placing more distance between your body and the device. If you care about your loved ones, don’t just buy them a tablet computer. Let them know you care by staying informed and posing the right questions. As a safety precaution, keep tablets away from the body or use a tablet radiation shield to help protect yourself or loved ones from unnecessary tablet computer radiation exposure.

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