Do computer screens emit radiation that is harmful to the eyes?
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), "there is no convincing scientific evidence that computer video display terminals (VDTs) are harmful to the eyes." The common complaints of eye discomfort and fatigue are associated with ergonomic factors such as distance from the person to the monitor, monitor height and brightness, etc.
I have a colleague who is pregnant and who types at a computer. How much radiation does her baby receive at a typical computer? Is there a lead shield that she could wear? Like an apron?
Regulations of the US Department of Health and Human Services require manufacturers to test computer monitor emissions for radiation and to label them attesting to the fact that they have been found to meet the standards of Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations. You should be able to find this label on the rear of the computer monitor or the computer processor. Health studies of pregnant women who work with VDTs have not found harmful effects on the women or on their children. Heavy lead aprons or other shields are not considered necessary for units that meet the x-ray emission standards of 21 CFR. Such shields may actually be counterproductive from an ergonomic point of view.
What amount of exposure is received from the average computer monitor?
Radiation emissions from VDTs (for example, television sets and computer monitors) are regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) and manufacturers are required to test and label these products. Regulations limit radiation emissions from electronic products to levels considered safe.
I have heard a lot of answers about the ill effects of computer radiation but almost all that I have read claim no certainty in their answers. Has there been any valid and indisputable answer to this?
The consensus of the authoritative reports I have seen is that scientific studies have been unable to verify and reproduce any of the reported health effects of ambient levels of electromagnetic fields from powerlines or electric appliances. The inability of more recent studies to reproduce the originally reported effects of electromagnetic fields indicates that those early findings may have been unique in some way, possibly due to statistical clustering, and are not generally applicable to other places and times.
This means that if there are health risks they are too small or of a kind that have not been detected by current methods. Scientists often say that they "cannot disprove a negative," meaning that it is not logically possible to prove that something does not exist. This is because the list of things to be disproved can be endless, and the type and level of sensitivity of the tests that are used can always be improved upon.
I'm getting a computer for my child and would like to know which type of monitor/computer is safest in terms of the different types of radiation that exist. I was told years ago that the flat screens had a different, yet worse, type of radiation. Are there two types of radiation, and is this type worse?
All television receivers (including computer monitors), regardless of type, must meet a mandatory federal performance standard so any x-ray emissions, if they exist at all, must be at very low levels. I am unaware of two types of radiation, unless you categorize the visible light which you see on the television screen as one type, which is, in fact an electromagnetic radiation; You can also consider radiowaves, which are also electromagnetic radiation. Both of these types of radiation are nonionizing and generally considered safe unless one is exposed to very intense levels.
How safe is it to work sitting right at the back of the monitor of a computer workstation?
All television receivers (including computer monitors), regardless of type, must meet a mandatory federal performance standard so any x-ray emissions, if they exist at all, must be at very low levels. The key point is that the emission standard is for "any point on the external surface" which means whether someone is in front of, to the side of, or behind the display or receiver, he/she is protected against any potential emissions of the display to the same degree.
My mom worries about the effects of computer radiation. She says that I am putting my health at risk by being on my PC more than four hours a day. Is this true?
The radiation emission from any computer is RF (radiofrequency) waves. There is no proof that these are harmful unless the intensity is high enough to warm tissue (like a microwave oven). You are not putting yourself at risk (from radiation) by being on your computer more than four hours a day.
My grandchildren often sit with their laptop computers in their laps. Is there any danger to their health and reproductive organs from low-level radiation that may be reaching them?
The only measurable radiation emission from a laptop computer is radio waves. We are constantly exposed to such radiation from all directions and multiple sources, including radio and TV signals, electronic appliances, etc. Current data indicate that these are not harmful to our health. There is, however, quite a bit of heat generated within the laptop while it is on. It is for this reason manufacturers recommend against extended periods of use with the computer on your lap.
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