New computer equipment was installed in the editorial page offices of a major daily newspaper. Severe jitter of the computer monitor's display was observed regardless of whether a PC or MAC based system was used even though older equipment had been and could still be used successfully. In an adjacent office area the jitter was not easily perceptible at first glance. However, upon closer observation, when attending closely to the display, the jitter did become apparent and was sufficient to render prolonged use of the system difficult for any other than casual users.
The difficulties experienced with the use of computer monitors drew attention to the presence of elevated 60 Hz magnetic field levels in certain areas of the editorial page offices. Subsequently, questions also arose as to the possibility of risks to staff working in the areas where elevated magnetic fields were present.
RHSC carried out measurements of power frequency magnetic fields in the most severely affected areas and at other nearby work stations. The results helped to identify areas of the office which would not be suitable for use of susceptible computer monitors. The report discussed possible associations between exposure to power frequency magnetic fields and possible risks to exposed workers, the significance of the observed levels and compared them to levels in other occupational, commercial and residential environments. The flicker and jitter of the displays was also addressed, analyzed and recommendations made for reducing or eliminating the problems.