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US researchers warn of possible fertility risk to men using laptop computers on their laps

otal temperatures with and without laptops. Two one-hour sessions of scrotal temperature measurements were performed on different days in the same room with a median room temperature of 22.28C. The men were dressed in the same casual clothing for each session and sessions with and without LC were conducted at the same time of the day. Body temperature was taken by mouth beforehand and each volunteer spent 15 minutes standing in the room to adjust to room temperature before being seated. A non-working LC was placed on the lap so that the volunteer could adopt the right position to balance the laptop, then removed, and the seating position held for one hour, with scrotal temperature being measured every three minutes. The same procedure was repeated for one hour, with the same baselines controls, but this time with a working laptop. The temperature of the bottom surface of the LC was also measured at intervals.

"We found that scrotal temperatures rose by 2.1C when the men sat with their thighs together, which is necessary to keep LC on the lap. But, the rise was significantly higher when the LC were used 2.8C on the right side and 2.6C on the left," said Dr Sheynkin. " It shows that scrotal hyperthermia is produced by both special body posture and local heating effect of LC."

The median surface temperature of Pentium 4 computers used increased from nearly 31C at the start of the experiment to nearly 40C after one hour.

Dr Sheynkin said: "The body needs to maintain a proper testicular temperature for normal sperm production and development (spermatogenesis). Portable computers in a laptop position produce scrotal hyperthermia by both the direct heating effect of the computer and the sitting position necessary to balance the computer. The magnitude of scrotal hyperthermia associated with abnormal spermatogenesis is unclear. But, previous studies suggest that 1C above the baseline is the possible minimal thermal gradi
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Contact: Margaret Willson
m.willson@mwcommunications.org.uk
44-1-536-772-181
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology
8-Dec-2004


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