Hyderabad: A video circulating on Facebook claims that infrared thermometer devices can damage the pineal gland. In the video, a mother is found not allowing the staff at a dental clinic to record her child's temperature using an infrared thermometer. Instead, she suggests that the staff take the thermometer which she was carrying.
The caption of the post is "Sorry you are not going to scare my child silly and point a gun to his head, neither is it okay to point this and damage his pineal gland. This is not the "new normal". A doctor uses an oral thermometer apparently that's not allowed and asking questions makes the dentist uncomfortable."
The Archived claim is found here.
Infrared thermometers measure infrared radiation, they don't emit them. They do NOT damage the pineal gland. The claim is FALSE.
The infrared contactless thermometer is a gun-shaped device that measures the infrared radiation emitted by a person or an object and converts it into temperature. As these devices measure infrared rays rather than emitting it, the person whose temperature is checked isn't subject to any infrared radiation. The red light seen on these devices is just a beam of light to help the user aim it correctly.
Infrared thermometers determine the correct positioning of the intensity transducer tasked with measuring the infrared radiation emitted by the patient whose temperature needs to be known.
The pineal gland is part of the brain. It plays a role in the regulation of female hormone-levels and it may affect fertility and the menstrual cycle.
Medical studies indicate that prolonged IR exposure can lead to lens, cornea and retina damage, including cataracts, corneal ulcers and retinal burns, respectively but this is not an issue with infrared thermometers.
It is not correct to say that these devices can have harmful effects on a person's pineal gland.
Hence, the claim is FALSE.
This fact check has been published as part of the Internews Information Saves Lives: Rapid Response Fund project to NewsMeter