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Proceedings Paper

Nonionizing Electromagnetic Radiation Associated With Video-Display Terminals
Author(s): R. C. Petersen; M. M. Weiss; G. Minneci
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Paper Abstract

From time to time during the past several years, questions have been raised concerning the potential health implications associated with nonionizing electromagnetic energy emitted from video display terminals (VDTs). For example, so called "editor's cataract," has been attributed (by one investigator) to the use of these devices, presumably caused by the emission of microwave energy. Because of these questions and allegations, a study was undertaken to characterize the electromagnetic emissions from a number of VDTs considered representative of those commonly used. For each VDT a band of frequencies from 10kHz to 18GHz and a band of wavelengths from 200 to 800 nm were examined under normal operation conditions. In addition, the various controls associated with each device were adjusted in order to try to maximize the emissions. In all cases, the sweep frequencies and their first fifty or so harmonics, and the digital clock frequencies and their harmonics were detected but in no case did the individual levels or the sum of all levels even remotely approach any exposure standards or guidelines used in the United States or by any other nation. No levels of electromagnetic energy at frequencies normally considered microwave (greater than 1GHz) were detected that could be directly associated with any terminal. Although complaints of fatigue and eye strain may occur, these problems can generally be traced to local factors such as ambient lighting, glare, poor brightness and contrast, extended viewing time, poor biomechanical posture and, level of job interest and motivation. Based on current medical knowledge, there is no evidence to indicate, nor is it even a subject of speculation, that the emission levels associated with VDTs will have any deleterious effects on the health of those persons using such devices.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 October 1980
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 0229, Ocular Effects of Non-Ionizing Radiation, (7 October 1980); doi: 10.1117/12.958801
Show Author Affiliations
R. C. Petersen, Bell Telephone Laboratories,Inc (United States)
M. M. Weiss, Bell Telephone Laboratories,Inc (United States)
G. Minneci, Bell Telephone Laboratories,Inc (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0229:
Ocular Effects of Non-Ionizing Radiation
David H. Sliney; Myron Lee Wolbarsht, Editor(s)

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