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OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov.
January 19, 2000
Ms. Darlene Dreamer
Quality Administrative Assistant
c/o Voss Industries, Inc.
2168 West 25th Street
Cleveland, OH 44113
Dear Ms. Dreamer:
Thank you for your December 10, 1999, letter addressed to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). You requested information regarding the potential health effects of very low radiation emission from computers.
Computers, also referred to as video display terminals (VDTs), emit a radio frequency and an extremely low-frequency electromagnetic field, however there is no conclusive evidence that these low levels of radiation emitted from VDTs pose a health risk to VDT operators. OSHA does not currently have a standard relating to extra-low or very-low frequency emission of radiation. As you may know, the only OSHA health-related standard that currently addresses radiation is the Ionizing Radiation Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1096. It includes protection from suchradiation sources as x-rays, gamma rays, and other high speed atomic particles, which would not apply to your personal work environment. We have enclosed a copy of OSHA Publication No. 3092, Working Safely with Video Display Terminals [ 498 KB PDF ] for your review.
If you wish to explore this topic further, you may contact OSHA's Technical Data Center at (202) 693-2350. Another resource that you may find useful is the National Institute forOccupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Their toll-free phone number is 1-800-35-NIOSH (1-800-356-4674). They publish a booklet similar to ours, NIOSH Publications on Video Display Terminals.
We hope that this information is useful to you. Thank you for your interest in worker safety and health. If you have any further questions, please contact the [Office of Health Enforcement at (202) 693-2190].
Richard E. Fairfax, Director
[Directorate of Enforcement Programs]