Dental Tribune India

Infrared thermometers used for temperature check are very safe. Ignore illogical WhatsApp videos.

By Rajeev Chitguppi, Dental Tribune South Asia
September 06, 2020

Many patients are refusing to co-operate and not allowing the doctors to record temperatures using infrared thermometers - all thanks to a fake Facebook post and an illogical Whatsapp video. The aim of this article is to bring the facts to you and assure you that infrared guns are absolutely safe.

Facebook post that went viral from July 25, 2020, and until now shared by 2000 people claims that an unnamed Australian nurse has warned everyone about the purported dangers of using infrared thermometer guns to check temperatures.

Fake Facebook post: Infrared thermometers damage Pineal gland. Scientifically incorrect. Source: https://perma.cc/X6MH-QMZG?type=image

Some points mentioned in the post: Infrared temp gauging on the pineal glands!

[1] I'm really worried ... One of my new tasks is taking and recording each person's temperature. I aim for the center of their forehead with my thermometer shaped gun, I pull the trigger, wait for the beep and record the temperature. I always apologize to the person before proceeding!

[2] Are we being desensitized to be targeted at the head and also causing potential health issues by aiming an infrared ray to the pineal gland?”

[3] So I started taking the temperature on the wrist, which turned out to be more accurate given that the forehead is cooler than the wrist and the results differ by more than one degree in some cases.

[4] As a medical professional, I refuse to directly target the pineal gland which is located directly in the center of the forehead, with an infrared ray. Our pineal glands must be protected as it is crucial for our health both now and in the future.

[5] Ask yourself: Is it ever wise to aim an infrared laser light at the pineal gland?

There is a viral Whatsapp video too, which claims the same things. Let's analyse these absurd social media posts.

A viral WhatsApp video that claims infrared thermometer guns damage the pineal gland.

Please read the reasons, why not to believe in these fake claims:

We hereby provide you with the scientific explanations offered by neuroscience experts on this matter on the AFP website.

Gabrielle Girardeau, a neuroscience researcher at France’s Inserm institute, told AFP on July 22, 2020:

People tested are in no way subjected to infrared radiation exposure during temperature measurement. The thermometer captures the infrared radiation emitted by the human body, on a sensor.

Maude Beaudoin-Gobert, Claude Bernard Lyon 1 University’s doctor in neurosciences, in his statement to AFP on July 23, 2020, explains the reasons behind this fear of pineal gland damage:

In reptiles and birds, the pineal gland is just under the skull and contains photosensitive cells that are sensitive to visible and infrared spectrum sunlight, which is not the case for mammals.

According to Gabrielle Girardeau, even if infrared rays were to be directed towards the pineal gland, it is positioned too deeply in the brain for the rays to reach it. Light has a very low capacity to penetrate the barrier formed by the skull.

AFP Fact check debunked this on their website (Published 25 July; Updated 2 September). 
Click here to go to the original site

It is very important to share the facts with the general public who refuse to get their temperature checked by tested by infrared thermometers based on these baseless social media posts and WhatsApp videos.

Co-author of the article:
Ashwini Bhangale, Intern, MGVM's KBH Dental College & Hospital, Nashik.

1 Comment

  • sydneyh Skiiante says:

    Porque não usam outra parte do corpo?
    Porque é proibido uso no estadio de futebol, já que não traz risco? Porque não apresentam estido cientifico enbsando sua tese? Diz um escritor brasileiro chamado Nelson Rodrigues “Toda unaminidade é burra”. E, por que? São aqueles que não pesquisam, não estudam e aceitam algo que vem de cima psra baixo sem questionar… Respeitem o seu semelhante…

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