You must have heard about the super useful infrared thermometers. For the uninitiated, they are used to detect the temperature of their surrounding environment with the help of its electromagnetic radiation. They are widely used in industries and environments and can readily tell the temperature.
But the real question is whether they are safe as electromagnetic waves are involved here. Well, the answer isn’t simple enough to answer in no or yes. We have to consider various factors for that.
But don’t worry, we are going to discuss the safety-related issues in detail in this article. So, read on to find out more.
Is It Safe To Use An Infrared Thermometer?
Infrared radiation is a part of the electromagnetic wave spectrum. Radiations are often harmful to human beings as they can cause irritation and a burning sensation in the skin. However, the best infrared thermometer contains almost no radiation.
It only absorbs the IR and measures it but doesn’t consist of the component in itself. Laser IR Thermometers are different, and they can be risky.
The safety can be compromised easily if some factors aren’t overseen properly, and especially for babies.
Is it Safe to Use Infrared Thermometer in this COVID 19 Pandemic?
The treat of Corona is spreading dramatically all across the world. There is still no proper vaccine or medicine available to get rid of the COVID 19 virus. Now, only the best solution to save yourself from this deadly virus is to avoid social contact with people even your family members and stay safe inside your house. But, what about one of your family member is feeling sick and you have to need to measure the body temperature of that person. So, how you can measure the temperature without touching him. If you use a digital thermometer the chance of contacting that person becomes pretty high.
How to avoid physical contact during body temperature measurement?
You can use a non-contact thermometer in this scenario. It will be safe for you. According to The New York Times, Chinese authorities and most of the hospitals are using a non-contact thermometer for quick screening of people victims with fever or illness. In China, these thermometer guns are also deployed in railway stations, hotels, grocery shops, and toll booths so that they can detect citizens having a problem with fever. This really helped the Chinese government to prevent the spread of this deadly virus. Evidence shows that an infrared thermometer was also used widely during the spread of SARS and Ebola.
Although some argue that body temperature determines by an infrared thermometer is not accurate if you use it outside especially dusty roadside or if someone is inside a car or near a hot car or vehicle. You have to remember dust and steam reduce the accuracy of an infrared thermometer.
But, it gives more accurate reading when it is used indoor not outside.
Possible Risks for Children
Babies tend to develop fever more than the norm, so this instrument is used quite often around them. The beam of the laser would be extremely harmful if accidentally pointed to the eyes. Extreme irritation followed by watering of eyes occurs if such a situation arises.
With the non-contact ones, you have to keep it beyond the reach of the child as it comes with batteries. If by chance the batteries are swallowed by them, then it could lead to serious health situations.
Intake of batteries would cause the cap to open which would make the lithium leak. The food pipe, tongue, and the entire digestive system would burn.
So, don’t leave it out in the open and make sure that it is not touched by the kids.
It’s safe to say that mercury thermometers should be put to use instead of laser IR thermometer. The results would also be far more accurate.
Should I Wear Goggles and Gloves for Safety?
We have discussed how harmful the instrument can be for babies, but there is risk involved for adults too. Laser ones can cause damage to the eyes and even blinding if the laser is a powerful one. Also, it can cause an allergic reaction on the skin and can even lead to mild skin burns. To prevent this dangerous event from occurring, wear goggles and gloves whenever you have the IR laser thermometer in your hand to be completely safe. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Check If It Can Be Used on Living Beings
Some lasers are incredibly powerful and are specifically used for non-living objects. These cannot be used on living organisms as they are not suitable for our bodies. If this is accidentally applied to humans, it would damage the organs and impair its capability of functioning.
Do Not Use It in A Room Filled with Extremely Reactive Gases
If an explosive gas comes in contact with a beam of laser, the rest will be history, quite literally as this would trigger a scary explosion. So, your device and extremely reactive gases or liquid should never be placed in the same room.
The Trigger Button
The trigger which controls the withdrawal of the beam should be immediately released after the use. If that’s not done, the laser can hit the wrong place and anyone around. The life span of the device would also be reduced.
Reflective surfaces such as mirrors could reflect back the ray of laser towards you or anyone near the surrounding area. The result would be as discussed above. This is one of the main reasons why pre-planning a conventional setup is vital.
Children should be the farthest away from these situations.
How Infrared Thermometers Work?
Before we get into the main topic, you should really have a clear-cut image of the thermometer in order to grasp a proper idea of the concept.
These instruments go by a lot of names such as non-contact thermometers or temperature guns because they have the ability to calculate the temperature from distance. They are also known as infrared laser thermometer because there is a laser installed which assists one to aim at the desired spot.
It detects a part of the thermal radiations, also known as the black-body radiation, from the targeted object and measures the temperature. This radiant energy is converted into electrical energy which is why contact with the thermometer and object is not needed.
The emissivity and the amount of infrared radiation emission of the item are equal to the actual temperature.
Watch Out The Below Video For Details:
Uses and Applications of Thermal Thermometers
Here are a few applications of this equipment which are safe to use if dealt properly:
- Safety of Food
With this device, food delivery services measure the temperature of the equipment, refrigerators, cold stores, and trucks. This ensures that it has the perfect temperature so that the food doesn’t get spoiled.
- Industrial Uses
People use it for regular checking of steam systems, boiler operations, electrical panel hot spot surveys so that operations are not hindered.
Used for spoil detection by checking the temperature of plants for animal bedding and stress.
- In Air Conditioning and Heating
You can use it to check heat gain and loss, breakdown of insulation, leakage in the duct and the furnace.
Almost every object in the world would be unsafe if not handled properly and with care. If you use the infrared thermometer as suggested above, you won’t have to face any sort of problems with safety.
Everything has been discussed and researched thoroughly before presenting it in front of you. We really want you to be completely out of the harm’s way.
If you are still uncertain about the safety and have further queries, feel free to type it out and leave it in the comment section below!
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