Skin problems from visual display units. Provocation of skin symptoms under experimental conditions
Swanbeck G, Bleeker T.
Thirty patients having skin problems experienced being caused by work with visual display units (VDU) were tested double-blind with two VDUs. One VDU had strong electrostatic and electromagnetic fields and the other VDU had an identical appearance but the electrostatic field and electromagnetic fields were practically eliminated. Approximately 80% of the patients reacted with stinging or itching in the face during the 3 hours working period with 25% relative humidity in the room. No difference between the VDUs was found with regard to provoking these symptoms. At 60% relative humidity 13 patients of 19 experienced stinging or itching in the face. Those 13 that reacted were asked to come another time and were informed that the VDU was not turned on and that all electric fields that were present came from the cable to the VDU. A green cloth was put over the VDUs. This time 11 of the 13 patients reacted with stinging and itching in spite of the fact that the VDU was turned off. The present study does not indicate that electric and electromagnetic fields are of major importance in provoking subjective skin symptoms in patients experiencing skin problems when working with VDUs.