A video of Khurshed Batliwala, in which he claimed – ‘Using infrared thermometers on the forehead to check the temperature of the body can harm the organs in the head’, is being shared on social media. Let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.
Claim: Video of Khurshed Batliwala claiming that using the infrared thermometer on the forehead can harm the organs in the head.
Fact: Infrared thermometers are not harmful to the organs in the head. The infrared thermometer will not cause any damage to the organs in the head or in the body because the measurement is done by the absorption and detection of infrared energy radiated by the human body; not vice versa. Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.
When searched if infrared thermometers are harmful to the organs in the head, an article published by the ‘CGTN’ in February 2020 was found in the search results. In the article, it is mentioned that – ‘the infrared thermometer, takes one’s temperature by sensing the infrared energy radiated by the human body, as all materials emit infrared energy when the temperature is above absolute zero (-273 degrees Celsius). The process won’t cause any damage to the human body because the measurement is done by the absorption and detection of infrared energy’. In the same article, an infographic comparing the different types of thermometers can be found. Also, Feng Luzhao, a researcher at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said – ‘Infrared thermometers work by receiving the thermal radiation emitted by humans, not vice versa. Using infrared thermometers is not harmful to the eyes and body’.
When the same message went viral in Malaysia, the Malaysian government has issued a statement against the false message, which can be read below.
Also, no such side-effects from using infrared thermometer are mentioned on the ‘US FDA’ website. The ‘Poynter’ has published an article in July 2020 that the same message went viral in various countries and many fact-checkers across the world have debunked it.
Khurshed Batliwala has written on his official Facebook account that he ‘holds an M.Sc. in Mathematics from IIT Bombay. He is an Art of Living faculty for 20+ years’. He has not mentioned that he is a professor at IIT Bombay.
To sum it up, using the infrared thermometer on the forehead will not harm the organs in the head.