Computers: Screen Test

Discounting VDT hazards

Since it was introduced into the American workplace in the 1960s, the video display terminal (VDT) has become an indispensable tool for 10 million clerical workers, typesetters, writers, editors and computer programmers. But as the number of people who regularly use VDTs has increased, so have complaints that long-term exposure to the machines can cause a variety of afflictions, including muscle fatigue, eyestrain, cataracts and miscarriages. Two years ago, a panel of vision experts and psychologists assembled by the National Research Council began a scientific investigation of the effects of VDTs on eyesight.

Last week, in a 273-page report, the...

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