Do Computers Cause Cancer?

Worried that heavy computer work may be hard on your eyes? Experts say anti-glare screens may help provided you buy the right type.

Consumer Reports said glare or plastic filters tend to collect fingertips easily which can be as bad as the glare you get from your computer screen. With mesh filters, the images on the screen may appear blurred. To minimize this, place the filter as close to the screen as possible.

“Before you spend money on an anti-glare screen, try rearranging your workplace to reduce glare. If that doesn’t do the job, try an inexpensive plastic mesh filter which should solve most of your problems,” said the editors of Consumer Reports.

A copy stand should be considered when you’re frequently looking at documents. Place it at an angle that makes reading comfortable. It should be the same height and distance from the eyes as the screen.

Work about 14 to 24 inches away from the monitor and don’t forget to take a 15-minute break from the computer every two hours. While working, rest your eyes once in a while by looking into the distance.

What about radiation? Will it make you blind? Computer monitors or video display terminals (VDTs) normally emit low-frequency radiation which some sectors have blamed for miscarriages in women and leukemia in others. Should you be concerned too?

The consensus among members of the scientific community is “No.” Studies made by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have failed to show any link between VDTs and these conditions.

The truth is radiation coming from a computer is the same as the amount produced by fluorescent light – hardly any cause for alarm. You’ll get more radiation from color TVs but that still isn’t enough to do any harm.

“The overall result of extensive scientific studies shows no conclusive evidence of a radiation hazard from VDTs. This position is supported by the American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the World Health Organization, and other health agencies and medical organizations worldwide that have studied the subject.” said Jojo Almirante, associate systems engineer at IBM Philippines in PC Digest.

“Computers do not pose a danger to health, contrary to widespread misconceptions that these can cause cancer or other health risks to women or children,” added the editors of Health Alert, a publication of the Health Action Information Network.

Given these facts, it’s time to stop worrying and start-using your computer.

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Sharon A Bell

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