By Sean Poulter
3D-TV health warning: Tuning in can cause confusion, nausea and even fits, says electronics giant
The world’s biggest electronics company has issued an extraordinary health warning about the dangers of watching 3D television.
Pregnant women, the elderly, children and those suffering from serious medical conditions are among a wide range of people said to be at risk.
The alert extends to those who have been sleep deprived or drinking. It highlights alarming side effects such as confusion, nausea, convulsions, altered vision, light-headedness, dizziness, and involuntary movements such as eye or muscle twitching and cramps.
Samsung says there are also concerns that those with epilepsy could be at risk of fits – as they are from strobe lighting and photographers’ flashes on normal television.
Watching 3D on TV, which involves wearing special glasses like those used for 3D movies, bombards the eyes and brain with a succession of flashing images that appear for a fraction of a second.
It is a new way of seeing things and so puts unusual strain on the body.
The warning has been posted on a Samsung website and appears designed to protect the manufacturer from any legal claims for compensation if people fall ill.
Samsung’s 3D sets are going into stores in the next few days with a starting price around £1,300, while Sony’s TVs will go on sale in June.
Other manufacturers say they have studied the health effects of 3D viewing and have decided it is safe to go ahead.
Sky is currently promoting its 3D coverage of premier league football in pubs. The technology is being driven by a raft of 3D blockbuster films such as Avatar and Alice in Wonderland.
Samsung, based in South Korea, has been the biggest-selling technology brand in the world since 2005.
One part of the warning reads: ‘Viewing in 3D may cause disorientation for some viewers. Accordingly, DO NOT place your TV television near open stairwells, cables, balconies, or other objects that can be tripped over, run into, knocked down, broken or fallen over.’
Another part says: ‘Viewing 3D television may also cause motion sickness, perceptual after effects, disorientation, eye strain and decreased postural stability.’
And it advises those with epilepsy, or a family history of epilepsy and strokes, to take medical advice before watching.
However, the spokesman said the company is reviewing the language used in the warning on the basis it may cause ‘unintended alarm’.
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