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VERIFY: No, thermometer guns cannot cause brain damage

More than 2 million people have watched a video on the topic, but as you know, you can’t always believe what’s on the internet.

HOUSTON — Thermometer guns can cause brain damage. That’s what’s being spread on social media. More than 2 million people have watched a video about it, but as you know, you can’t always believe what’s on the internet.

The YouTube video claims an Australian nurse tasked with taking people’s temperatures is warning people it’s dangerous.

“Are we being desensitized to be targeted at the head and also causing potential health issues by aiming an infrared ray to the pineal gland? So I started taking the temperature on the wrist, which turned out to be more accurate (than) the forehead," the video claims.

The plea on the YouTuber’s page reads, “Please do not let anyone point a temperature gun at either your or your children’s forehead!!! Please, listen and share.”

Our source for this is Dr. Ammar Razzak, a vascular neurologist with the McGovern Medical School at UT Health.

“Oh, God, I don't want people to listen to this. I want to make sure people, when they listened to this, they know that this is not true and people should not worry about things like that and not to avoid these temperature checks,” Dr. Razzak said.

The pineal gland is a pea-sized tissue in the back of the brain that produces melatonin. But Dr. Razzak said a temperature gun will not impact it or any part of the brain. The instrument simply senses heat emitted by the body.

“There's no infrared radiation coming out of that device. So if you don't have any radiation, nothing will reach to the brain or the pineal gland,” Dr. Razzak said.  

So we can Verify this claim is false.

The FDA and the CDC say taking a temperature reading from someone’s forehead is the most accurate and safest method during a pandemic.