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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | Monitors | Monitor Power and Safety ]

Electromagnetic Emissions

All monitors produce emissions as a result of how they work. The electron beam that creates the image also produces electrical and magnetic fields as a side-effect. (Television sets do the same thing, as they are also based on CRTs). To what extent these emissions are a concern is unknown, and a matter of some controversy in both the computing and health industries. Most agree that the less, the better, but there is no agreement on to what extent emissions can be linked to health problems. In particular, some believe that prolonged exposure to the electromagnetic fields produced by monitors can lead to increased risk of cancer.

The Swedish government has been a leading force in developing lower-emissions standards for monitors. The most recent one is called MPR II, and many monitors will state specifically if they adhere to this standard. Remember that seeing an advertisement that calls a monitor "lower emissions" is like a food calling itself "lower fat"; it's nice but it doesn't tell you a lot unless you get more information to clarify exactly what the word "lower" means in this case.

Regardless of the monitor's claims, basic common sense should prevail. It is preferable not to sit with your nose touching the CRT, much the way your mother always told you not to sit right in front of the TV :^).

Next: Keep The Cover On For Safety's Sake

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