Television sets or TVs have been around since 1920s. Since their advent, communication has never been the same. TVs offered something better than what the radios did, as they allowed the transmission and reception of moving images rather than just sound. From their early forms like those equipped with cathode ray tubes, to today’s LCD and LED cousins, TVs have paved the way for broadcasting and entertainment. Since TVs made information and entertainment readily available, many people tune in, sitting in front of their TV sets for hours. The problem is TVs can emit EMFs.

EMFs or electromagnetic fields are fields produced by the movement of electrically charged objects. EMFs can have harmful effects to health if exposure is greater than normal circumstances. For example, in the United States, for people who are exposed to EMFs 10,000 greater than the average are given precautionary measures by the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. There are also studies claiming EMFs cause biological changes in the body like brain cell damage, DNA damage, excited brain cells, leukemia cell growth, increased blood pressure, and protein changes in the skin among others. EMFs were also said to cause miscarriage, asthma, and others. Though there are scientific bases, most of the harmful effects of EMFs are those that come from stronger EMF sources like X-rays.

What about TVs?

TVs and computer monitors emit low levels of radiation. However, some scientists argue that frequent and long term exposure to low levels of radiation can still have effects to human health. And since some people can sit all day in front of their computers or TVs, then they’re more at risk of overexposure to EMFs or radiation.

The problem is, up until now, there exists no conclusive evidence about the harm that exposure to TV radiation can cause. Even the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued their viewpoint regarding this matter. EPA says, “It should be emphasized that there is no evidence that radiation from televisions or computers has resulted in human injury.”

The answer lies with the kind of TV used. Flat panels TVs such as LCDs do not emit any kind of X-radiation. As for the other kinds of TV sets, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) scrutinizes the manufacture of TVs that are being sold to the public. According to FDA, “All TV manufacturers must submit written radiation safety reports to FDA outlining how they assure that each set coming off the assembly line complies with the Federal x-ray radiation limit.” Furthermore, FDA declared that “Television receivers imported into the United States, which do not meet the standards, are not allowed into the country and are destroyed if not exported in 90 days.”

While Americans are assured of the safety of TV sets under normal circumstances, this thing about TV radiation’s health effects is still inconclusive. So for the sake of health and as a precautionary measure, it would be wise to just limit exposure to any amount of radiation. One way is by increasing distance from the EMF source. People at home, especially the children, should be placed as far away from the TV, microwave oven, and computer screen as possible. Limit duration of exposure to TV and computer screens. If possible, install monitor filters to limit the amount of radiation.

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