Laptops are health hazard -

Health experts claim that laptops can be bad for your health.

The latest modern illness to befall humanity is called "toasted skin syndrome", an unusual-looking mottled skin condition caused by long-term heat exposure from a laptop.

The most recent case has been a 12-year-old boy developed a sponge-patterned skin discolouration on his left thigh after playing computer games a few hours every day for several months.

Swiss researchers reported in an article published Monday in the journal Paediatrics, which we get for the "identify the baby vomit contest", that the kid realised that his laptop got hot on the left side, but refused to move it.

Other cases involve a Virginia law student who sought treatment for the mottled discolouration on her leg.

The doctor who examined her discovered that the laptop was 51 degrees hot.

We are not talking about a new black death here. In fact there are only ten laptop-related cases reported in medical journals in the past six years. But while they can cause permanent skin darkening and they could cause skin cancers.

The Swiss researchers, Drs. Andreas Arnold and Peter Itin from University Hospital Basel do not cite any skin cancer cases linked to laptop use, but suggest, to be safe, placing a carrying case or other heat shield under the laptop if you have to hold it in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.

Apple, Hewlett Packard and Dell warn in user manuals against placing laptops on laps or exposed skin for extended periods of time because of the risk of burns.

It is the latest warning about using laptops on your laps. A report a few years back found that men who used laptops on their laps had elevated scrotum temperatures which could lead to infertility.

"Toasted skin syndrome" has occurred in workers whose jobs require being close to a heat source, including bakers and glass blowers.