An Australian nurse speaks out about her concerns:
"I'm really worried about the new protocols regarding taking people's temperatures, aiming for the centre of their forehead with my thermometer gun. I pull the trigger, wait for the beep and record the temperature. I always apologise to the person before proceeding. After doing this a dozen or more times, I suddenly had a realisation: Are we being desensitised to being targeted at the head, causing potential health issues by aiming an infrared ray to the pineal gland? So I started taking the temperature at the wrist, which tends to be more accurate, as the forehead is cooler than the wrist and the results differ by more than one degree in some cases.
"I went to a shopping mall, and people were lining up to get their temperatures taken by an employee who was obviously not a medic and was not properly educated in how to correctly perform this procedure. Many were shocked when it was my turn, and I took the gun that was being directed at my forehead and redirected it to my wrist. I spoke softly but firmly, and told the employee that an infrared thermometer must never be pointed at someone's forehead, especially babies and young children. In addition, it requires basic knowledge of how to properly read someone's temperature, i.e. placing a thermometer on the wrist or elbow fold is much more accurate and much less harmful.
"It was very disturbing to me to see children getting used to seeing an object the shape of a gun aiming at the forehead, and without any negative reactions from the adults, as if this was normal and acceptable. As a medical professional, I refuse to directly target the pineal gland, that is located directly in the centre of the forehead, with an infrared ray. However, most people agree to go through this several times a day.
"Our pineal glands must be protected, as they are crucial for our health, both now and in the future. The pineal gland is a small, pine-cone shaped gland of the endocrine system, a structure of the diencephalon of the brain. It produces the hormone melatonin. Melatonin influences sexual development and sleep/wake cycles. The pineal gland is composed of cells called pinealocytes and cells of the nervous system called glial cells. The pineal gland connects the endocrine system with the nervous system, and it converts nerve signals from the sympathetic system of the peripheral nervous system into hormone signals. Over time, calcium deposits build up in the pineal and this accumulation can lead to calcification in the elderly.
"Function: the pineal gland is involved in several functions of the body, including: secretion of the hormone melatonin, regulation of endocrine functions, and converting nervous system signals to endocrine signals. It causes sleepiness, influences sexual development, influences immune system development and antioxidant activity,. Ask yourselves: is it ever wise to aim an infrared laser light at the pineal gland?"