PC Monitors....Long term exposure...DANGEROUS?

  Wulfrune 02:02 28 Jun 2003

I'm surrounded by a bank of about 30 CRT Monitors and I'm starting to get concerned about the long term implications to my health, anyone here care to give their thoughts or advice?

Many thanks....Wulfrune

  Forum Editor 09:09 28 Jun 2003

about this and you'll get a dozen different opinions.

CRT monitors generate an Electro-magnetic field which is necessary in order to focus the electrons on the back of the screen, and when you sit in front of the screen you are immersed in this field. Whether or not you are being harmed in this way is a matter of debate, but there is certainly a body of opinion to suggest that long-term exposure to EMF radiation may be harmful.

The problem is made worse by the fact that it isn't only CRT screens which produce EMF, all kinds of electronic devices are doing it, and that's what some experts think is the real problem - we're being exposed to many differnet sources all the time. Chief among the suspects of late has been the mobile phone, and there's been a good deal of talk about the dangers of using these over prolonged periods.

The jury's still out on EMF radiation, and it would be a foolish person who said that there was no need for concern. We really just don't know, and in a way that may be a good thing, because non of us can avoid some exposure to the background radiation that's all around us in a modern society.

The best advice I can pass on is that you do not sit too close to your screens, and that you avoid working at the back of them when they're switched on - the radiation field is stronger there.

  Stuartli 11:23 28 Jun 2003

The Swedes have long created and updated radiation standards for monitors etc - the very latest monitors will prove the safest available as they will conform to the current benchmarks.

Some info on the subject can be found here:

click here

  Wulfrune 12:22 29 Jun 2003

The trouble is my eyesight has been gradually getting worse over the past 2 years, I'm ill more often and having spent a minimum of 8 hours a day in front of these things I come out feeling like McCain Micro oven Chips. The headaches have got much worse and more often too.
I consider myself to be healthy, I don't drink, smoke or eat crap foods, so I think something is wrong.....Hmm just a thought, when I'm away for a prolonged period from my console (i.e. holiday) the head aches seem to improve.

  Forum Editor 12:45 29 Jun 2003

and the consequent headaches, are often the result of staring at a PC monitor for long periods.

Imagine you are an eye, constantly trying to refocus as the screen flickers in front of you - the fatigue caused by this tiny but incessant muscular activity is what makes you feel like death after long periods.

That's why it's very important to invest in good hardware if you can afford it - a good graphics card and monitor combination can work wonders. As you can imagine I spend long hours in front of a screen. I have twin 21" monitors on my desk (not much room for anything else!) and I run them at 1152x864 resolution, 120Hz 32 bit colour. I need the screen size and colour settings for the work I do, and the 120Hertz refresh rate ensures that my eyes get a fighting chance. I do make a point of looking out of the window for a few minutes every 45 minutes or so, and that seems to help with the fatigue.

Another thing that helps enormously is having the right level of ambient light in the room - too bright and you have to peer at the screen, too low and the monitor glares at you, causing you to squint without realising it. My laptop has a nifty little adjustment for brightness on the keyboard, I can click my way to the perfect screen brightness in a second or two.

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