Computer Use and Hair Loss?

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“Though there is no proof of a cause-and-effect relationship between computer use and hair loss, it does happen to many people with long-time exposure to electromagnetic radiation in electric appliances, such as the computer,” says Dr. Yan Chonghuai, director of the Environmental Medicine Laboratory at the Shanghai Institute of Pediatrics.

Karen Luo, a 26-year old accountant, thinks computer radiation is the reason for her hair loss, according to Shanghai Daily.  Since her problem is getting worse, Luo has begun eating a spoonful of the herbal remedy, black sesame powder, every morning.  The traditional Chinese medical treatment is thought to promote growth of black hair.

“I didn’t know the cause-and-effect theory but my friend says that’s why most IT people don’t have much hair.  That makes sense to me,” she said.  Luo no longer surfs the web at night.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says on their website:  “There is no evidence that radiation from televisions or computers has resulted in human injury.  Radiation safety standards for TVs, computers and other consumer goods set and enforced by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also work to keep you safe.”

The EPA and ‘experts’ further state that if one is concerned, limit exposure, length of time, and distance from a screen.  Logical, but many people spend too many hours in front of a computer or television, so aside from eyestrain and carpal tunnel syndrome, there could be a bona fide concern.

We’re surrounded by radiation—sunlight, electric light, heat, radio waves, power lines, and other forms of energy–not just from our medical and dental X-rays.  Radiation comes from natural radioactivity in the environment, from minerals and the earth also.

Most of us are exposed to two kinds of radiation:  ionizing (creates free radicals that can damage tissue) and electromagnetic.  The former, which removes electrons from atoms, is more dangerous.  Some comes from radioactive building materials such as granite and marble.

“Any appliances that are powered by electricity create electromagnetic radiation around it, including power lines,” says David Chen, physics professor at East China Normal University.  He continued, “Wide use of electricity makes life easy and comfortable, but also exposes the body to dangers of man-made electromagnetic radiation, whether they know it or not.”

Many every day appliances give off radiation including refrigerators, electric blankets, mobile phones, hair dryers, microwave ovens, televisions and computers.

Professor Chen says research has linked (though not conclusively) electromagnetic radiation long-term exposure to hair loss, headache, insomnia, declining memory, irregular menstruation, miscarriage, low sperm viability, fetal anomalies, some cancers and leukemia.  Fetuses and children are at highest risk.

Although we cannot escape radiation completely, prudent choices and changing habits could significantly reduce possible dangerous consequences.