Are CRT monitors (cathode-ray tube) safe?

RT monitors are directly linked to a disease which may have affected entire generations.

Are CRT monitors (cathode-ray tube) safe?
Are CRT monitors (cathode-ray tube) safe?

For decades when walking into a computer lab or home office, you surely saw the large boxy computer screen taking up a huge chunk of desk real estate. These old-school behemoth monitors are formally called cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors. Cathode ray monitors work by moving high voltage electron beams back and forth across the screen. These beams pass by and light up phosphor dots in a glass tube, which in turn illuminates the screen.

This technology has long been touted as having major health risks to those who have had prolonged exposure to cathode ray monitors. In fact, these monitor screens have been proven to have a direct link to the formation of a brain tumor, and their extensive usage for years may have put an entire generation at risk to these tumors. This is one of the main reasons there has been a large scale phasing out of the use of CRT monitors in favor of LCD or LED flat screen monitors. Not only are they far more space friendly, but they are far safer for the user.

Are CRT monitors (cathode-ray tube) safe?
Are CRT monitors (cathode-ray tube) safe?

So, what makes cathode ray monitors so dangerous? The risk lies in the radiation. When the high voltage electron beam is generated, so are various types of radiation. In a medical setting under carefully supervised circumstances, we know that radiation can be extremely helpful and even curative. However, prolonged exposure to uncontrolled radiation can have dire circumstances. We see this with multiple types of radiation. UV radiation can give us sunburns and skin cancer. Radiation from nuclear accidents such as Chernobyl or bombings caused thousands to have radiation sickness or even develop cancer. Therefore, it is really no surprise that after spending thousands of cumulative hours in front of radiation emitting cathode ray monitors, many individuals found themselves fighting for their lives with brain tumors.


The types of radiation that users of cathode ray monitors are exposed to are ultraviolet and x-rays. X-rays are emitted from CRT monitors due to the fact that they use high voltages. It is important to note that color monitors release a much higher number of x-rays than black and white monitors, therefore, it is only the users of color CRT monitors that need to be concerned. It is important to note that the x-rays coming from monitors are still far less than x-rays used by doctors to diagnose medical conditions.

The second type of radiation exposure risk in long term users of cathode ray monitors is UV radiation. Small amounts of ultraviolet radiation escape the screen. Although not directly linked to getting a brain tumor, UV radiation is in no way benign. It is known to cause skin damage and cancer and has even been connected to vision loss.