Many of the following household products are used by Canadians every day: cell phones, computer monitors, humidifiers and ozone generators, laser pointers, microwave ovens, and personal stereo systems.
In this section, you will find information concerning the potential health effects related to these devices:
Cell phones are portable radio devices that transmit and receive signals from a network of fixed, low-power, base stations.
Video display terminals, such as computer monitors, are common in the workplace and the home. All electrical appliances, including computer monitors, are surrounded by invisible electric and magnetic fields (EMFs).
Many people in Canada use portable humidifiers to increase moisture levels in their homes. Most humidifiers are safe when used properly. However, recent studies have shown that poorly cleaned or maintained cool-mist humidifiers can disperse materials, such as micro-organisms and minerals, from their water tanks into the indoor air causing breathing difficulties for some people. Health Canada has put in place recommendations for proper use and care of your humidifier to reduce potential exposures to micro-organisms, such as bacteria and moulds.
Health Canada has also warned the public not to use ozone generators (cleaners designed to intentionally generate ozone in homes). The concern is that adverse health effects may result from the deliberate exposure of the public to ozone from these products. Ozone is an irritant that can cause coughs, chest discomfort, and irritation of the nose and throat. The direct and purposeful generation of ozone in indoor occupied spaces should be avoided.
You can read more about ozone generators in these publications:
Hand-held laser pointers are popular in Canada. Unfortunately, users are not knowledgeable about the intensity of the light and the effect it may have on the eye.
Microwave ovens provide a convenient way to thaw, cook, and reheat food. They are now common in most Canadian homes and restaurants, and are also found in many commercial and industrial establishments.
Personal stereo systems offer a convenient way to listen to music in public without disturbing others. A typical system combines a portable music or radio player with headphones or earphones.
To make an inquiry regarding cell phones, computer monitors, laser pointers, microwave ovens, and personal stereo systems, contact the Consumer and Clinical Radiation Protection Bureau