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Plasma Display Panels (PDPs) may be defined as a type of flat panel technology that utilizes light emitted from charged particles found within the PDP that then reflects this on tiny units called PDP cells containing phosphorus coating. The latter devices are normally manufactured through assimilation of glass plates, rare gases, conducting material and precise spacing. A number of controversies have arisen about the possibilities of health risks especially to the younger population. These possibilities shall be examined below.
Whether PDPs pose a risk for young children
Shown below is an illustration of a Plasma Display Panel
When examining the possible risks that can emanate out of the use of such technology, it is imperative to note that children are perceived to be at greater risk because their organ membranes are not yet fully developed thus making them particularly vulnerable to any external dangers if any.
One assertion made by researchers who deal with the dangers of high tech devices on human life is with regard to electro magnetic fields. A number of academic works have become common after the introduction of mobile phones. While the introduction of PDPs has not solicited similar research, there is still some evidence indicating that the latter technologies emit a fair amount of electric and magnetic radiation into its environs. (Alasdair, 2006) Consequently, this may penetrate through the body and lead to organ complications such as those ones mentioned above. However, these electromagnetic fields only posses a radius of six feet. This means that television sets located far away from their audiences will be less harmful. (Hutchinson, 2003)
Visual concerns are also another important portion of these displays. Studies have shown that Plasma Display Panels cause minimal long term effects on one’s eye sight because Plasma screens (unlike the LCD televisions) had an ability to minimize eye strain since brightness levels are quite low and there is no need for fast eye movement. (Taub, 2007)
Some individuals may also worry about the long term health effects that emanate from such screens. Shown below is the composition of these screens and the potential materials that may come in contact with humans handling them.
In the year 2005, it was found that factory workers who assimilated plasma screens reported unusual signs of pulmonary fibrosis and even lung disease associated to indium oxide. (Homma, 2005) It can therefore be said that PDPs are a danger to factory employees since this is an occupational hazard; however, consumers using these products are not likely to be affected because they do not dismantle the television components. (Dugan, 2008)
From researches carried out around the world, PDPs do not cause eye damage. Additionally, they do not affect internal organs through their constituent compounds. However, emission of electromagnetic radiation is a cause for concern. All in all, PDPs can be allowed in school day care facilities if children are placed at safe distances from them.
Homma, Stanley. “Pulmonary fibrosis in individuals occupationally exposed to ITO.” European Respiratory Journal 25.1 (2005): 25.
Taub, Eric. “Watch a Plasma TV for your health.” The New York Times 2007: A 7.
Alasdair, Philips. “Chocked by electro smog.” Daily Mail 2006: 2.
Hutchinson, Jamie. “Plasma Display Panels; their history.” Computer and Electrical Engineering News. 2003: 16.
Dugan, Emily. “Flat Panel Display – just a TV?” The Independent 2008: 23.