The Infrared Temperature Gun: Is it doing more harm than good?
6th September, 2020

U.K. companies have been finding ways to adjust to the new normal post the lockdown period resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

Infrared temperature guns have become a popular device among retail stores. Upon visiting my local mall centre, I saw a member of staff at the entrance of an Apple store pointing a temperature gun at each customer’s forehead before allowing them to enter the store. While the long line of customers waiting may be proof that many people are embracing this as the new normal, concerns have been raised about the dangers of this device. It has been argued that infrared ray guns may be doing more harm than good.

Image showing employee observing Covid19 protocol, using an infrared thermometer to record temperatures indicating symptoms.

infrared thermometer

Are Infrared Temperature Guns Dangerous?

 An Australian nurse used her platform on Facebook to share her concerns. The nurse shared that pointing a gun to one’s forehead is degrading, desensitising both adults and children to the idea of having a gun pointed at them. Furthermore, she shared that the infrared ray gun emits radiation which can affect one’s health. “Pointing the infrared gun at ones forehead,” she shared, “affects the functionality of the pineal gland.” The pineal gland is a pea shaped gland located in the brain which is primarily responsible for the production of melatonin. Melatonin is critical for sexual development and sleep-wake cycles. This hormone serves as an antioxidant as well as assisting in regulating blood pressure, body temperature and cortisol levels. Protecting the pineal gland is critical for short term and long term health.

The Australian nurse argued that pointing the temperature gun at the wrist or elbow is much more accurate and less harmful.

infrared temperature measurement device

Image showing staff member using infrared temperature measurement device to record temperature for coronavirus.

The Consensus

Despite this, the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) has stated that these claims are false. “The light emitted would not be able to penetrate through the barrier of the skull,” Gabrielle Girardeau, researcher in neuroscience at the National Institute of Health and Medical Research argued. Furthermore, Peter Saunders, a radiation thermometry research scientist at the Measurement Standards Laboratory of New Zealand, “Infrared temperature devices detect the temperature emitted from objects, and it does not direct any infrared rays at the object itself.”

Several other researchers have attested that the claims made in the Facebook post are false. The infrared thermometer has been declared safe to use by all ages.

According to Oman Observer’s report, Dr Renchi Mathew, Consultant Physician, Royal Oman Police shared that it is important to distinguish between laser beam thermometers and infrared thermometers. Laser beam thermometers are not suitable for use on the human body and are intended for industrial purposes only. Infrared thermometers are safe to use as they only record the temperature emitted from surfaces.

We supply an infrared thermometer that we believe should be distributed in schools. *SC to put in link to the thermometers on website.

Infrared Thermometer Forehead and Ear Thermometer

Infrared Thermometer Forehead and Ear Thermometer

Infrared Forehead Thermometer

Infrared Forehead Thermometer

Whitebox Infrared Thermometer WX07349

Whitebox Infrared Thermometer WX07349