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Thread: Negative Ions and Computer Screens

  1. #1 Negative Ions and Computer Screens 
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    Mar 2009
    (I posted this in the wrong forum initially)

    There is some research that seems to show that so-called negative ions are good for human health. These negative ions are found at high altitudes, in rain forests, and can be added to the indoor home or office environment by installing negative ion generators or by adding house plants, which also are beleived to release negative ions when the process of transpiration occurs whereby plants release moisture in the air.

    Conversely, some research seems to show that positive ions are antithetical to human health and lead to headaches and lethargy. Positive ions are present in large amounts in city environments where few plants exist, as I understand it. Computers, likewise and in particularly the CRT monitor, are thought to attract negative ions to the screen when in operation and thereby alter the ratio of negative ions to positive ions in the office environment resulting in air that is more abundant in positive ions and more likely to cause tiredness and headaches.

    My question is whether modern flat screen computer monitors, and in particular the Power Mac G5 Cinema Display computer screen, would also attract negative ions to the screen, and whether that would also occur even when the monitor is turned off. I have found that simply adding the screen to a room that contains houseplants, and was previously likely charged with negative ions as a result, seems to experience a drop in the general euphoria of the room (plants and negative ions are thought to create that effect) fairly shortly after the cinema display is added to the room and not even turned on.

    Is the cinema display draining the negative ions when not turned on (and not even plugged in)?

    Alternatively, is the computer screen doing something else that affects the indoor environment, such as perhaps affecting or creating electromagnetic fields even when the monitor is not on or plugge in?

    Thanks very much.

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  3. #2 Computer displays and negative ions 
    Forum Freshman vistotutti's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
    The, now defunct, CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) Computer monitors are indeed a negative ion generator.

    The CRT works by using very high voltages to accelerate electrons that hit the screen and produce light.

    Having worked in a repair shop for CRT devices, I can tell you, one can actually smell the air in a room full of many of these tubes working with the covers off.
    I beleive the smell is the effect of negative ions in the air, producing, among other things, ozone!
    Now I'm told by reliable sources that ozone is a hazard to humans in the workplace, and so I'm told to ventilate the workshop well to avoid it.

    On the other hand, electrically charged air does smell cleaner, and maybe what is a slight hazard to humans is fatal to little pathogens like bacteria and virions. (A wild hypothesis I admit)

    The new LCD monitors produce very little electric fields, so the ionising effect is gone, alas.

    Maybe we have removed a hazard, maybe we are ruining the vibe of our citys.
    Time will tell....

    There is that which is known.That which is known to be Unknown. The unknown that is unknown to be unknown... and that which is thought to be known, but is actually unknown.
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  4. #3  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope MagiMaster's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    They do, in fact, use ozone is some sterilization processes, but I'm pretty sure the concentrations used would be dangerous to humans. Not only that, but at sea level, ozone doesn't actually last very long before it breaks down or reacts with something.
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  5. #4  
    Reptile Dysfunction drowsy turtle's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
    Tropospheric ozone is also produced in photochemical smog by pollutants from car exhaust fumes. It is the main harmful component in smog in cities, I believe.
    "The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair." ~ Douglas Adams
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