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  • Joe Cangas, MD

Are touchless thermometers dangerous?

Non-contact infrared thermometers that are held up to a person’s forehead have become popular during the COVID-19 pandemic as businesses and governments seek ways to detect possible infection without risk of transmission. But are they safe?


I've been asked ( and told) a number of times that the thermometers we and other use are dangerous. One patient even went as far as to tell me it was a doctor who told them it was dangerous and that the instrument was used to point an infrared light directly at the brain’s pineal gland, exposing it to harmful radiation.


FALSE: These thermometers sense/absorb heat emitted from the body, they do not emit radiation or any other harmful substance.


If you or someone you know has read this and has concerns, I hope this helps ease your mind.



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