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Is there exposure to non-ionizing radiation from a computer mouse?

A computer mouse is a hand held device for detecting movements on a surface that the computer can translate into relative locations on the computer screen. In addition, there are buttons and a roller in the mouse that allow control, marking, giving commands etc. The name is derived from its similarity to a mouse in size and shape.

 

Computer mice first came into use in the 1970s, using a cable connection to the computer. Subsequently wireless computer mice came into use, based on short range radio communication, involving transmission and emitting non-ionizing radiation.

 

In the past, mechanical systems based on a trackball were used to detect movement of the mouse on the surface. Nowadays an optic system is used, which is more precise and reliable. This system is based on light emitted from a source (usually light of a single color created by a light emitting diode (LED) and reading of the light reflected from the surface using an optic detector. Nowadays laser illumination is commonly used because of its advantages (resolution and tracking capacity  at surfaces).

 

What are the exposures to non-ionizing radiation from a computer mouse?

  • Wireless computer mouse – the mouse connects to the computer via wireless communication using bluetooth, and emits signals. The emissions are at a frequency of 2.45 Giga-Hertz, and non-ionizing radiation at this frequency exists in the vicinity of the mouse. The emissions are intended to establish very short range communication; therefore their power is very low. The mouse user is exposed to a very low level of non-ionizing radiation which in practice is negligible.
  • Wired computer mouse – the mouse connects to the computer via a cable (nowadays mostly via a USB connection). The connection is characterized by low voltage and very weak currents developed in the cable, and the electric and magnetic fields in the vicinity of the mouse and the cable are totally negligible.
  • In addition, light is produced by the lower part of the mouse, as part of its functioning process. The light strength is very weak, and exposure to it is only possible when the mouse is turned over. For mice that use a laser light source, there is a warning not to look directly at the source even though it is of very weak strength.
 
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