Health experts play down VDU scare

Health experts dispute reports that VDU (Video Display Unit) radiation is responsible for so-called "sick building syndrome" and say technology is responsible for illness in far more subtle ways.

A study published by researchers at Reading University Wednesday suggests that radiation from computer monitors may be responsible for a variety of maladies among office workers including headaches, flu-like symptoms and muscular pain.

Professor Cary Cooper, a health expert disagrees: "I think they have left out a few things. When a lot of technology was introduced it was promised it would make our lives easier. In fact, it's been the other way around. The stress of trying to find anything on the Web, apart from adverts, being overwhelmed with email, are major factors of stress at work today. It's supposed to be the paperless office, but I bet you we're printing out more paper than ever, trying to organise things like email."

"I think you should take it with a pinch of salt," says Derrick Spivack, of the European Business Foundation Health Monitoring Unit. "There are a lot of theories about this. I'm not convinced it's to do with radiation. Lighting, ventilation, even depressing decorations have all been sick building syndrome."

For more medical-related stories, visit the BodyTechnic Special.

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