1. There are various anti radiation aprons and attachable screens on the market but these vary from the marginally useful to the useless. By and large no apron will give you the kind of full body protection you need, especially when the brain is left totally unprotected.
Certain anti radiation screens will reduce specific ranges of frequencies to virtually nil (mainly static fields) but it is important to know exactly what frequencies the screen claims to reduce, which are usually only a small proportion of what is being emitted. No screen will protect against the types of pulsed fields emitted by VDUs.
2. Have your screen/system tested and measured. Remember that older screens tend to emit the highest levels of radiation and might be worth replacing anyway.
3. One option is to change to one of the increasing number of low radiation monitors coming on to the market, produced by some of the major manufacturers. Some even make total systems (including the computer) that emit negligible or very low levels of radiation.
4. Light emitting diode (LED) screens, mainly used with portables, emit hardly any radiation and have made considerable technical advances in the last few years as far as clarity and legibility are concerned. Although they presently cost more than the conventional CRT screen, they are almost certainly the way of the future.
5. Take care over your seating with respect to your own and nearby monitors. Remembering that the highest fields occur at the sides and back of screens.
6. Take time away from the screen when working. Pregnant women should arm themselves with the growing evidence to negotiate with employers over alternative work. Don’t be dissuaded or placated by the possibly dismissive attitude of the HSE, as indicated in the current edition of their booklet.
7. Keep yourself informed of the latest research and developments in this area.
rective comes into effect at the end of the year, employers will in fact be required to keep employees informed about such health and safety effects.) Each issue of Electromagnetics News (6 a year) published and edited by Simon Best, carries news of VDU research or developments (send a stamped addressed envelope for details to: EM News, PO Box 25, Liphook, Hants GU30 7SE; individual subscription £19/year; companies, £44). The City Centre (incorporating VDU Workers Rights Campaign), 32-35 Featherstone Street, London EC1Y 8QX (071 608 1338) also offers information about workers’ rights and how to negotiate with employers.