Screen Test

By Kohl, Herbert | The Nation, August 27, 1990 | Go to article overview

Screen Test


Kohl, Herbert, The Nation


Screen Test

An article exposing the risks of video display terminal radiation published in the trade publication Macworld has prodded the Apple company, which makes the Macintosh computer, into announcing that it supports the development of industrywide safety standards for electromagnetic emissions from computer screens. That the magazine would run the remarkable nine-page investigation, "The Magnetic-Field Menace" by Paul Brodeur, was highly unusual. Trade magazines are not noted for challenging the industries on whose advertising they grow fat $(see "Beltway Bandits," July 2$). But Macworld did, and Brodeur, noted muckraker of the asbestos industry and author of the recent book Currents of Death: Power Lines, Computer Terminals, and the Attempt to Cover Up Their Threat to Your Health, made a compelling case that the hundreds of thousands of people who work daily at computer screens worldwide may face serious cancer risks, forcing Apple to call for the industry radiation emission standards.

Brodeur writes that by 1986 a link between exposure to low-level electromagnetic waves from power lines and the development of cancer in children was established in a number of Swedish studies, as well as in a major study by the New York State Department of Health. The strenght of the 2 to 3 milligauss current (a gauss is a unit of strength of a magnetic field) emitted by the power lines was similar to the strength of the same type of emission measured at a distance of twelve inches from VDTs, according to 1982 studies by Dr. Karel Marha of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. Brodeur also cites more recent studies of people and laboratory animals that support the finding that the doses measured by Marha are associated with cancer (especially brain cancer and leukemia) and pregnancy problems ranging from fetal damage to miscarriage.

With the assistance of the editors at Macworld, Brodeur tested ten common monitors used with Macintosh computers, with unsettling results. At twelve inches electromagnetic radiation ranged from a low of 1.11 milligauss (but was generally higher than 2) at the front of the screen to a high of 15.86 milligauss at the side of a color, high-resolution monitor. (The sides and backs of monitors emit the highest levels of radiation.) They found that only at a distance of twenty-eight inches -- "arm's length" -- was it "sensible" to sit at the front of the screen. Four feet was their recommended distance from the sides and back.

Until the Brodeur article appeared Apple did not acknowledge the potential seriousness of the problem. After it appeared, Apple did announce it supported the development of industrywide safety standards for electromagnetic emissions, but it did not call for any protective guidelines in the meantime, and it continues to contend that there is no scientific proof of how electromagnetic radiation affects the body. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Screen Test
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.