Although their very name implies they should be on your lap, laptop computers can pose a health risk due to extended heat exposure on the thighs and groin. Use a lap desk to minimise your risk.
Photo by king nikochan.
If you routinely keep your laptop on your lap even though it feels like you could probably fry an egg on your GPU, you could be putting yourself at risk for skin damage and other health complications. Yahoo! News reports on the dangers of keep your laptop directly on your lap.
In the past, "toasted skin syndrome" has occurred in workers whose jobs require being close to a heat source, including bakers and glass blowers, and, before central heating, in people who huddled near potbellied stoves to stay warm.
The condition also can be caused by overuse of heating pads and other heat sources that usually aren't hot enough to cause burns. It's generally harmless but can cause permanent skin darkening. In very rare cases, it can cause damage leading to skin cancers, said the Swiss researchers, Drs. Andreas Arnold and Peter Itin from University Hospital Basel. They do not cite any skin cancer cases linked to laptop use, but suggest, to be safe, placing a carrying case or other heat shield under the laptop if you have to hold it in your lap.
Although serious injury stemming from laptop use is rare — but not unheard of — placing your laptop on a work surface or using an inexpensive lap desk is such a trivially easy fix to implement there is little reason not to. Check out the full article at the link below for more information.
No Laps for Warm Laptops; Skin Damage Is Possible [Yahoo! News]