Because induction stoves are electrical, they have all the hazards of every other electrical appliance in your home. That is, they emit electromagnetic fields (EMFs).
But how hazardous are these EMFs, and how dangerous is an induction stove? Depending on who you ask, they're either very dangerous or completely safe, without a lot of middle ground.
Here, we take a look at induction stoves, EMFs, and other details about induction cooking.
Here at The Rational Kitchen, we love induction cooking, so yeah, we’re biased. But above all, we are interested in what the science has to say. And the truth is that the science supports our belief that induction cooking is safe.
We could end the article there, but that wouldn’t be very helpful. It would simply be our word against the anti-induction people who have a huge Internet presence (frequently under the guise of scientific organizations). On the other hand, to fully, completely answer this question, we would have to have a fairly lengthy conversation about a lot of complicated things like the Electromagnetic Spectrum and the difference between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation.
We’re going to try to have that conversation, as simply as we can yet still explain enough for you to make an informed decision. Because to really understand the issues involved with induction cooking, you have to have some background information. But you don’t need to become a physicist.
Regardless of what you might read on the Internet, the actual science overwhelmingly supports the fact that induction cooking is safe.
How Induction Cooking Works
Induction cooktops use electricity to create energy, just like every other appliance in your home. But unlike most other home appliances, induction cooktops have a fairly powerful magnetic field. This is what makes people wary about them.
Here's how it works.
Induction burners are essentially electromagnets--that is, they're copper coils that, when electrical current is passed through them, become magnetic. When you place a ferrous (i.e., magnetic) pan on the burner, the pan becomes sort of an extension of the electromagnet. Magnetic steel has a very high heat loss factor at the frequency of the current being passed through it--in the case of induction, around 24 kHz (according to Wikipedia).
This "heat loss" is how the pan gets hot, and the reason why only ferrous metals will work with induction burners. This loss also happens very, very quickly, which is why induction cooking is so fast and so efficient.
(Update: There is now an induction cooker that works with non-ferrous cookware, but the technology still leaves something to be desired.)
Here's a short video that shows how the electromagnetism of induction works (courtesy Ramanuj Nanhoriya):
Because the pan itself becomes magnetized, a small amount of current (also called electromagnetic frequency, EMF, electromagnetic radiation, or simply radiation) passes from the cookware into your body when you touch the pan. This is one of the reasons some people are wary of induction technology, more so than of standard electric ranges (which emit only the standard radiation of all other household appliances).
If you don't understand what that means, it does sound scary. But it's really not--read on to find out why.
Why Is there So Much Controversy About EMFs?
In the 1980s, a study was published that found a correlation between higher rates of cancer (specifically, leukemia in children) and proximity to power lines. EMFs were classified as a 2b carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). A 2b classification means possibly carcinogenic to humans--but no conclusive evidence has yet been found.
Since then, thousands of studies have been done by scientists all over the world, in both the public and private sector, to corroborate these findings. To date, nobody has been able to substantiate the findings of the initial study, and no causal relationship has been definitively drawn between power lines and higher rates of cancer, in any form, for people who live near them.
Other sources of EMFs have also been extensively tested, such as mobile phones, and have found no conclusive evidence that the radiation emitted by electrical devices has a negative or lasting effect.
But the Pandora’s box was opened. Many people distrust these findings and insist that all EMFs emit dangerous levels of radiation, that the government is lying to us, or just that it is “better to be safe than sorry” because even if there isn’t conclusive evidence of danger, there’s enough controversy to make it a probable concern. Right?
Well, not really, no.
All the hype and controversy surrounding electromagnetic fields is rooted, like most things we fear, in ignorance. The truth is that EMFs can be dangerous. And it's important to understand when and under what circumstances this is the case. But the truth is also that EMFs that come in contact with people in normal, daily routines generally are not.
UPDATE 2022: The IARC study is no longer available, but we found this paper from the Environmental Health Trust, suggesting that new evidence even more strongly suggests a relationship between EMFs and cancer. However, this is more about cell phone towers and WiFi than it is induction.
What are Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs)?
According to the World Health Organization:
“Electric fields are created by differences in voltage. They exist wherever there is a positive or negative electrical charge present. The higher the voltage, the stronger will be the resultant field. Magnetic fields are created when electric current flows: the greater the current, the stronger the magnetic field. An electric field will exist even when there is no current flowing. A magnetic field only occurs when current flows.”
Thus, electric fields and magnetic fields exist together, and they exist anywhere there is an electrical charge. This is why they are lumped into one category and called electromagnetic fields. The emissions from these fields are called “electromagnetic radiation” or simply “radiation.” (Yes, that radiation--sort of. More on that in a minute.)
EMFs come from many sources. They exist in abundance in nature, such as in the atmosphere (thunderstorms are the result of a buildup of electrical charge) and the earth itself (its magnetic poles can be read by a compass and are used by birds and animals to navigate). The sun is a huge source of electromagnetic radiation, including both visible and ultraviolet light. In fact, the sun is an excellent example that shows the mixed bag that EMFs are: the ultraviolet rays from the sun are harmful to human flesh and are estimated to cause about one million cases of skin cancer per year. However, life on earth would not exist were it not for the visible light from the sun--photosynthesis, for example, would not be possible.
So you can begin to see that EMFs, even naturally occurring EMFs, can not easily be labelled “good” or “bad.” It's more complicated than that.
Nobody really concerns themselves too much about naturally-occurring EMFs (even though the sun is by far the most dangerous source of radiation that most people are exposed to on a routine basis). It’s the man-made EMFs people worry about.
Man-made EMFs surround us. Unless we go “off the grid” completely, we are bombarded by man-made EMFs pretty much constantly. The laptop I’m typing on right now is a source, as is the ceiling fan above me, the lamp sitting next to me (even though it’s not on), all the wiring in my house, the WiFi I rely on and my innocent-looking cell phone at my elbow (which uses microwave technology, which can, in some situations, be highly damaging to human tissue). And in the kitchen, all of your appliances are sources, including--yes--your induction cooktop.
All electrical appliances generate electromagnetic fields--AKA radiation! As do all the cell towers, radio towers, and power lines you see and live with every day. And when you go to the doctor, you may be X-rayed or given an MRI--these, too, generate radiation. In the case of X-rays, extremely dangerous radiation.
The Electromagnetic Spectrum
So why aren’t I more worried about all this radiation I’m exposed to? This is where it starts to get a wee bit complicated. To understand this, it might be helpful to talk a little bit about the Electromagnetic Spectrum, which you or may not remember from your middle school science classes. According to Wikipedia, “The electromagnetic spectrum is the collective term for all known frequencies and their linked wavelengths.”
The ES includes radio waves, ultraviolet light, visible light, infrared waves, microwaves, X-rays, and gamma rays, as well as some other, lesser known waves.
Why is this important to know? Because it allows you to see that all of these EMFs exist along a spectrum. If you understand this, even in an undetailed way, you can see that EMFs are just a part of everyday life, from listening to the radio to using your cell phone to laying on the beach. Our vision and our hearing are both the result of human interaction with different electromagnetic waves.
More importantly, you can begin to sort out the non-harmful EMFs from the harmful ones. And if you can do this, you can make rational choices about which EMFs you'll want to avoid and which ones make your life easier.
To do this, though, you need to dig just a little deeper to learn about frequency and wavelength.
Frequency and Wavelength
Frequency, typically measured in Hertz, is the number of waves in a given distance. Wavelength, typically measured in nanometers, is simply the distance between the waves (as measured from crest to crest):
All EMFs have specific frequencies and wavelengths which identify them. For example, visible light exists at wavelengths from 400-700 nanometers.
A good analogy (from the WHO study on EMFs quoted above) to help understand frequency and wavelength is if you tied one end of a rope to a door and swung the other end. If you swing the rope slowly, it results in long waves (low wavelength) at a low frequency (that is, a large distance from crest to crest). If you swung the rope rapidly, it would result in many small waves (higher wavelength) that were closer together (higher frequency).
Just as the rope that is swung harder has more energy in it, so do wavelengths with higher frequency. In fact, this is the primary way to determine how dangerous the radiation of an EMF is: waves at the low end of the ES, such as radio waves, are very long--they can be hundreds of feet long--so they have a very low frequency. But at the other end of the spectrum we find short waves with a very high frequency. These are the ultraviolet, X-rays and gamma rays. They’re what’s known as ionizing radiation, which is the type that can penetrate the human body and destroy cell tissue. Ionizing radiation waves are dangerous at even low levels of exposure.
Ionizing Versus Non-Ionizing Radiation (The Crux of the Matter)
High- and low-frequency radiation are also classified as “ionizing” and “non-ionizing” radiation. “Ionization” refers to the ability of radiation to break chemical bonds, including in living tissue. Too much breakage can result in abnormal cell growth (cancer). This is why these high-frequency waves are so dangerous (e.g., why we wear sunscreen and should avoid getting too many X-rays and airport scans.)
Ionizing radiation is also cumulative: that is, the effects on the body build up over time, so even small doses (like X-rays) if repeated enough can have serious effects.
Non-ionizing radiation comprises pretty much everything below ultraviolet on the ES. Because these waves are long and slow-moving (that is, they have a low frequency), they don’t have a lot of energy. When they come in contact with solid objects, including the human body, they simply bounce harmlessly away. It’s like if a 3-year old child was throwing ping pong balls at you: no matter how hard he tried, he wouldn’t be able to hurt you.
Power Does Matter
There’s one more consideration about non-ionizing EMFs, and that is the amount of power a given EMF has. If a source of non-ionizing radiation is strong enough, it can make a person sick: numbness, tingling, nausea, and headaches are the most common symptoms. And if it is extremely strong, it can cause serious burns and even electrocution if there is direct contact with the body.
Most people do not come into contact with sources of non-ionizing radiation that are powerful enough to be harmful. And those who do (such as technicians who work on radio antennas) have well-established guidelines for exposure limits.
But the most important thing to remember about non-ionizing radiation is this: Even though non-ionizing radiation can be harmful at high levels, it does not work the same way as ionizing radiation. Non-ionizing radiation can NOT change cell structure, and there is no evidence of cumulative effects. This means that if you’re near equipment that’s generating a lot of power and you’re starting to feel dizzy or get a headache, all you have to do is get away from it. The symptoms will stop, and there will be no permanent damage to--or cumultive effects on--your body.
Extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic fields are classified by the IARC as a 2b carcinogen (that is, possibly carcinogenic). But to date, no studies have actually proven causality.
Why are they classified this way, then? We’ll talk more about that in a minute.
Even though non-ionizing radiation can be harmful at high levels, it does not work the same way as ionizing radiation. Non-ionizing radiation--that is, everything below ultraviolet--can not change cell structure, and there is no evidence of cumulative effects. The radiation generated by induction cooktops, as well as all other household appliances, is non-ionizing.
Exposure Levels and Safe Limits
Safe exposure guidelines exist for all levels of radiation. These include not only occupational exposure limits but those for all appliances and devices designed for home use. These safe exposure guidelines are complicated, and not easily explained. This site discusses EMF exposure in the US--but be forewarned that it is not easy information to make sense of.
The upshot is that it is extremely rare for any home appliances to operate outside of these guidelines.
Home Levels of EMFs
Here’s a brief explanation of why you don’t have to worry about EMFs in the home. Most modern houses have 200 amperes of power running into them. This is simply not enough power to create EMFs that can damage the human body. And even if it were enough power to be harmful, turning off the offending appliance--or simply stepping a few feet away from it--solves the problem. (Why does this solve the problem? Because all household appliances emit non-ionizing radiation.)
No home appliances emit dangerous levels of radiation, non-ionizing or otherwise. And with the consensus among scientists being that there is no cumulative effect of non-ionizing radiation, there is little evidence that you are in any danger from any of your home appliances, including your induction stove. And this is true even if you’ve got every appliance in your home running at full power at the same time, all bombarding your body with non-ionizing radiation.
The only possible exception is your microwave--but even with this appliance (which by the way does not use ionizing radiation to cook food), the microwave has to be malfunctioning to leak any radiation, and you have to be closer than a couple of inches for it to do any damage. At distances of even half a foot, the emissions drop off to an almost immeasurably small amount.
Worried about home EMFs? Test them with a Gauss meter.
There is a lot of ignorance out there about EMFs and how, exactly they can be harmful. There are also a lot of products available that cater to the fear mongering that goes on all over the Internet. While I am of the (scientifically-backed) opinion that home EMFs are safe, it still doesn't hurt to test them if you're at all concerned.
This device, the MG-2000T Triple Axis Professional Gauss Meter/EMI Magnetic Field Detector, is one of the best products on the market for accurate home testing. At around $150, good testing doesn't come cheap, but this is something that needs to be accurate and scientifically based.
But What About All the Cancer?
It’s true that extremely low frequency magnetic fields and radiofrequency EMFs have been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as class 2b carcinogens. This sounds compelling--but what exactly is a class 2B carcinogen?
According to Wikipedia, the IARC defines it as “The [2B] agent (mixture) is possibly carcinogenic to humans. The exposure circumstance entails exposures that are possibly carcinogenic to humans. This category is used for agents, mixtures and exposure circumstances for which there is limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans and less than sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals.” (emphasis added)
In other words, there is no compelling evidence of a causal relationship between a Class 2b substance and cancer. It hasn’t been entirely ruled out, however, none of the studies have shown actual evidence that a link exists.
Not a single study has proven a link between a Class 2b substance and cancer.
Because EMFs have been of interest since the 1979 study that proposed a link between power lines and childhood leukemia, there have been tens of thousands of studies done, most of which have refuted the findings of the power line/leukemia relationship (and none that have supported it). Organizations throughout the world, both public and private, have reviewed findings and conducted new studies on a regular basis. And no conclusive evidence has yet been found that links non-ionizing radiation and cancer.
Just to give some perspective, here are some other substances on the class 2b list: coffee, pickled vegetables, and aloe vera gel. Coffee has been on the list since the early 1970s and has repeatedly been proven to not be a carcinogen (in fact, it seems to actually reduce the rate of some cancers). Yet there it remains--once again, because you can't prove a negative.
As for the rising rates of cancer in the modern world: according to scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org, the main factor for increasing rates of cancer is age. People are living longer, and they estimate this accounts for about two-thirds of the increase.
But Shouldn’t I Be Skeptical, Anyway? (Better Safe Than Sorry?)
This is the attitude of many people. Millions, in fact. And they are all over the Internet and elsewhere, telling you that you should have this same attitude, “just in case.” But if you understand the facts, then you don’t have to play “what if” and “just in case.” You can make informed decisions for yourself and your family.
So yes, be skeptical--always! But be skeptical about the right stuff. Remember that, when you find information on the Internet, you shouldn't believe any of it without verification. (And yes, that includes our articles on Rational Kitchen, too.) Look at their sources and the language they use. Are they linking to established studies and scientific sites? If so, are they quoting these studies honestly or out of context? Is the language emotionally charged, with terms like “toxic” and “dirty” and “poison”? Or does it strive to be objective and intellectually honest?
There are a lot of people out there spreading misinformation. Even if they mean well, their opinions may not be grounded in the actual science on the subject. When it comes to understanding technical matters you should look to the science because that’s where you will find the truth.
Yes, it can be a pain to verify information. But the internet has made it easier than ever before. You have an entire world of information at your fingertips. Don't just believe the first source you find (including us). Check and check again.
So What’s the Upshot? Is Induction Cooking Safe or Not?
To date, very few studies have been done on the effects of induction cooking devices on humans. But because we have a good understanding of EMFs, electricity, radiation, and the power levels generated in the average home--all the elements involved in induction cooking--we can say with virtual certainty that an induction stove is as safe as any other appliance you have in your home.
That is to say, induction cooking is safe.
In fact, even the study most often quoted by induction-phobes says there is no evidence that EMFs are dangerous. (New link: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/0031-9155/56/19/001/pdf--you need to register to read the article, sorry.)
The study advises that people, especially pregnant women and small children, should avoid close contact (less than 30 cm/11.8 inches) with induction burners because of the stray radiation given off by them under certain conditions (such as when cookware is not properly centered on the hob).
However, if you read the entire study, it explains that even as close as 1 cm, the radiation does not exceed safe limits and, more importantly, that “According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no compelling evidence of medium-frequency magnetic fields having long-term effects on health.”
If you understand how electricity works, you shouldn’t find this surprising. (Remember the little kid with the ping pong balls we talked about earlier?)
Furthermore, since the radiation emitted by an induction burner is non-ionizing, if you did happen to feel tingling or numbing, simply move away from the burner--problem solved! But unless you hold your hand directly over the burner for a very long time--hours, most likely--this is extremely unlikely to happen.
Pot Size/Placement Issues
If your pot doesn’t fully cover the induction burner or if it not quite centered, the amount of stray radiation given off by an operating burner increases significantly. However, even the worst case scenarios--standing directly next to a small, improperly placed pot--does not result in levels of radiation that exceed safety guidelines, even for pregnant women and small children.
How About Pacemakers and Insulin Pumps?
Because certain pacemakers and isulin pumps are affected by EMFs, you should consult a doctor before buying an induction stove if this is a concern for you. The radiation generated by an induction stove is unlikely to be strong enough to affect pacemaker or insulin pump operation unless they are within an inch or two of the burner. But this is the one case with induction where you are “better safe than sorry.”
The fact that some induction hobs can affect pacemaker or insulin pump operation in no way means that they are "dangerous" or "unhealthy." It just means that they operate on a frequency that interferes with that of the pacemaker or insulin pump.
What the Experts Have to Say
The following statements are from organizations in the past 10 years. Note the huge variety of organizations across the globe which have come to similar (if not identical) conclusions.
The National Cancer Institute (part of the NIH): No mechanism by which ELF-EMFs or radiofrequency radiation could cause cancer has been identified.
The Institution of Engineering and Technology: ...has concluded that the balance of scientific evidence to date still does not indicate that harmful effects occur in humans due to low-level exposure to EMFs. This conclusion remains the same as that reached in its previous position statements, the last being in May 2008, and has not been substantially altered by the peer-reviewed literature published in the past two years.
Latin American Experts Committee on High Frequency Electromagnetic Fields and Human Health: ...the general conclusion, after more than 20 years of in vivo studies, is that no consistent or important effects of RF could be demonstrated in intact animals below international safety standards."
The European Commission: There is no conclusive scientific evidence of any adverse health effects below the protection limits of exposure to electromagnetic fields proposed by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), implemented in Europe by the Council Recommendation 1999/519/EC. The advantage of applying the ICNIRP guidelines is their solid scientific basis of established biological effects.
Health Canada: Based on scientific evidence, Health Canada has determined that exposure to low-level RF energy, such as that from Wi-Fi equipment, is not dangerous to the public, and The IARC classification of RF energy reflects the fact that some limited evidence exists that RF energy might be a risk factor for cancer. However, the vast majority of scientific research to date does not support a link between RF energy exposure and human cancers.
We could list dozens more quotes, and if you want to see them, check out this ICES link (also listed in the Sources section below). All of these organizations are saying the same thing: there is no evidence of human harm from EMFs in the amount we are normally exposed to on a routine basis.
EMFs remain classified as a 2b carcinogen--possibly carcinogenic--not because they’re dangerous, but because it is extremely difficult to prove a negative. In other words, more and more scientific evidence will continue to accumulate, assuring us that no relationship between EMFs and human peril exists. But that doesn’t mean we can say conclusively there is no danger. This is how science operates. It can prove a positive--the relationship between smoking and lung cancer, for example--but it can’t conclusively prove a non-relationship; they can only state that a relationship hasn't been found yet.
So those EMFs will continue to stay on the IARC 2b classification list, right along with coffee and aloe vera gel.
Smart people are careful. They take precautions and avoid dangerous situations as much as possible. Sometimes these are easy decisions, such as not smoking and not walking alone in a bad neighborhood after dark. But sometimes, the decisions aren’t so easy. The right decision isn't so obvious. When this is the case, it’s important to educate ourselves and form objective opinions based on science-backed evidence.
This is what we did for induction cooking. And even though we are biased (we love induction cooking!), we reviewed hundreds of websites to educate ourselves about the issues involved: primarily, the electromagnetic fields produced by induction cooktops. In the end we could find no conclusive evidence that induction stoves are any more dangerous than any other home technology, in the kitchen or otherwise.
If you have a pacemaker, consult with your doctor before purchasing an induction stove. Otherwise, don’t worry about induction cooking any more than you would about reading your email or talking on your cell phone. There is simply no evidence that any danger exists.
Finally, if we've convinced you to take another look at induction cooking, check out some other articles:
Best Portable Induction Cooktops
Induction Cooktop Pros and Cons
Or check out the Induction category at the top of the page for even more informative articles and product reviews.
Thanks for reading!
The study most often quoted by induction naysayers:
https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/0031-9155/56/19/001/pdf (note: you need to register to read the study, sorry)
original link: http://www.inis.si/fileadmin/user_upload/INIS/publikacije/2011_08_30_Bor_PMB.pdf
Help other people learn about induction cooking! Please share this article:
I like your sensible approach to this issue of induction top cooking and its emr. I was already aware that all electromagnetic fields produce a measure of radiation and I am sure that this is also true about my glass top range using standard halogen or electric coils underneath it. Do you have any idea of how they compare with each other. It would be interesting to see the numbers that might help put people’s mind at ease, when they see what they’re already exposed to and how innocuous those levels are.
I’m sorry, I don’t know how a standard electric stove compares with an induction stove/cooktop. They both use a 240V outlet, so they probably put out about the same amount of power, thus a similar amount of EMF. I think induction has been singled out because of the magnetic field, which some people associate with radiation more so than an electric coil. A comparison chart is a great idea, though, and I will try and add it to the article at some point. (More research required!) 🙂
The ignorance in this article is staggering. You can be “rational” and be completely wrong. EMFs are highly dangerous, unfortunately what most people and studies do not understand is that it takes years of accumulative damage to cause disease and side effects just like smoking does. It will probably be a few decades before the truth comes out and is accepted mainstream. Too many people are having problems with these types of devices. They are best avoided as much as possible. Once you get sick you will prefer cooking over a fire that getting anywhere near one of those induction nightmares. Good luck to you, hope you are one of the lucky ones to not get seriously ill.
I appreciate your comment, but did you actually read the article all the way through? In writing this article, I did a LOT of research and was as open-minded as I could possibly be, and totally willing to give up my induction cooktop if necessary. When I started writing it, I really believed that power lines caused leukemia in children. By the end of my research, it became obvious to me that this is not the case. Point being, it’s perfectly fine if you disagree with me, but accusing me of ignorance is, well, kind of ignorant. So maybe you should take another look at the article, and also the sources that I cite at the end.
And if you don’t want to do that (which I realize you probably don’t), then for your opinion to have any basis in fact, you would have to present me with some evidence: scientific studies that actually find a correlation between household EMFs and serious illness. The only people I found saying that EMFs were highly dangerous were put out by pseudo-scientific organizations and misguided researchers (like Havas) who have no strong evidence to back up their opinions. I couldn’t find ANY credible work that actually supported their claims. But if you can, I really would love to see it, because I, too, am concerned with health and safety in my home.
The thing is (and I say this in the article), it HAS been decades. Tens of thousands of studies have been done, and no causal correlations have been found. Until this changes, I stand by my statement that the most dangerous radiation that most people are exposed to on a regular basis is the sun. We know the sun can cause skin cancer just like cigarettes can cause lung cancer. Such a causal correlation simply has not been found between EMFs (at normal household levels) and health. And people have been exposed to man-made EMFs for more than a century, now, so if there was a correlation, it’s likely that it would have been found. Especially given the number of studies devoted to finding one!
I understand the “better safe than sorry” camp, and I think it’s cool if that’s where you want to be. I know a lot of people do. Thanks for taking the time to comment. I know this is a serious issue for you and that you are trying to help people. I appreciate that, even if I don’t agree with your opinion.
BTW, aren’t you also afraid of your computer? Those microwaves from your wireless network are supposed to be very dangerous…
Melanie @ TRK
I’m seriously considering using induction cooktop, but i’m really afraid based on whatever i’ve read against it. I’ve been so used to gas/electric stove (the combination sort)…. until one day .. just last month … my stove fumed up right in front of me when i turned on the stove , in the end house was in blazing blue orange fire.. I could probably never forget that incident … and the terrifying TAK TAK TAK sounds coming from my stove when the fire is spreading … I thought it would explode anytime already , while i’m carrying my dog out . I am afraid of the hea;th issues that induction cooktops can possib;e cause, but what else can i use , having experienced a gas stove fire accidental combustion… 🙁
Hi Melanie, I love your respond and truly appreciate the effort you have put in to give us fact based information. Thank you.
Although all products on the market comply with multiple restrictions governing human exposure to EMFs, a team from Slovenia has published details of a study considering the levels that pregnant women and young children could find themselves exposed to (Phys. Med. Biol. 56 6149).
I was looking at buying an induction range. All the info on EMF safety told me that if I was 1 foot or more away from the appliance one ‘ would be within safety limits’. What if I am 18″ away? Im outside safety limits but am I still within range OF A SMALL AMOUT OF RADIATION. And what If I cook a lot ( Im a professional; chocolatier) how long standing infront of my EMF emitter will I reach the safety limits? (You can’t tell me that after 1 foot there is zero risk if there is a risk at 11 inches).
You’ve written a lot of speil, but non of this tells me that I am in NO DANGER AT ALL.
Why subject yourself to any kind of risk? If a chef works intimately with his/her stove top, there is always going to be some kind of danger. You should be making that clear to your readers.
I think part of the reason these “safety limits” haven’t been clearly defined is that the danger level is so low, and without clear cut consequences, it’s hard to say exactly what that danger is. As I said in the article, you are at far more risk of personal injury from the sun than you are from an induction stove. Why? Because there is a proven causality between sun exposure and skin cancer. No such correlation exists for the (non-ionizing) EMFs emitted from an induction stove.
I agree, there is always going to be some kind of danger working with any stovetop. Or, for that matter, any appliance. Or, for that matter, in leaving your house in the morning. Life is inherently dangerous. I can’t say there is no danger because of course there’s danger. There’s danger with everything. As far as EMFs, I can say with complete certainty that standing in direct sunlight for 5 minutes is more dangerous than holding your hand 6 inches from an induction burner for 5 minutes. Why? Because the EMFs from sunlight can cause cancer. The EMFs from the induction burner can not. And if/when they start to burn, you will feel it–and you will pull your hand away.
I talk at length in the article about the inability of science to prove a negative. That is, unless proof of causality is found between one thing and another, you can only say, “x outcome is possible.” In other words, you can only say definitively if there IS a correlation (cigarettes and lung cancer); you can’t say definitively if there is not. EMFs have fallen into this “possible” category. Some people believe they’re dangerous, so they’ve gotten this reputation, yet NO CAUSALITY HAS EVER BEEN PROVEN. (At least, if we’re talking about non-ionizing EMFs and cancer.) But the link has been made, so people worry about it.
The best any person can do is educate themselves about EMFs and make their own decisions. This article was an attempt to help people do that. No one can tell you that you’re in NO DANGER AT ALL. You have to read the literature (I provide a good list of sources in the article as a place to start) and make your own decision. That’s good advice not just for EMFs, but for all decisions in life.
I agree, due to modernization, most technology we are using now, poses some health threat one way or another , direct or indirect, long term or gradually exposed. I never thought of using induction , until huge fire has happened just last month in my house.. as mentioned in earlier comment above . I’m lucky to escape with my pet dog without any burns nor injury. Neither has the glass nor collapsed ceiling managed to hurt us before we got out. So i really wonder if the negative comments/reasons against induction is more harmful VS a possible direct fire hazard . From the flames of the stove . The latter is also super hazardous . Humans are usually more afraid of what they cannot see. Hence unsure of, not 100% confident of , and hence think its worse off. By the way, i haven’t even started cooking the meal when the fire occured… it happened as soon as i turned on the stove that unfortunate day . I switched it off immediately, but the flames fumed upwards anyway .. and went beyond control …. I could have burnt alive with my dog … So whats all the negative comments about EMF of the long run health issues … -_-
I’m so sorry about your gas stove fire! It must have been terrifying for you, and I’m glad you and your dog got out safe. I can’t even imagine the terror.
As far as induction goes, I suppose you just have to make up your mind. What happened to you is very rare, and the likelihood of it happening again is probably very, very small. So you could go with gas and probably be perfectly safe. If you went with conventional electric you’d probably hate it after having gas because it’s so slow and unresponsive. And while there are a lot of induction naysayers out there, none of them have any concrete evidence of harm done by induction cooktops AT ALL. There is zero actual evidence. IMO this is because the fright is big but the reality of the danger is very, very small. If you live in a home with electricity and telephones and an Internet connection, adding induction to it would make little difference to your safety, if any.
One thing you could do is buy a portable induction cooktop (PIC) to try it out. If you like it and nobody in your home gets sick, then perhaps you’ll have your answer. There are several articles on this site about selecting a good portable. For an inexpensive trial PIC, I would go with the Duxtop. You can see it on Amazon here:https://amzn.to/2qNyvxN
Good luck to you. I hope whatever cooking technology you go with, you have better luck! Be safe!
I’m in the market for a electric/induction or gas stove. Now sure what is better EMF or CO2 pollution from electric or gas respectively?
If you’re worried about the environment, you should go with gas as it’s much cleaner burning than the coal at the power plant that powers your electric or induction stove. (You also have the advantage of being able to cook during a power outage, if you live in an area where that happens frequently.) BTW, an induction cooktop uses less energy than a standard electric one, but probably not so much less that you’ll notice it on your electric bill (although you may be helping the environment just a bit).
If you’re worried about your health, electric or induction is the better choice. Gas burns fairly clean, but it does produce unhealthy compounds such as carbon monoxide, in minute amounts that can build up in your home and become unhealthy (particularly if you have small children or pets).
Coal is a valid concern because it’s dirty and creates CO2. But EMFs really are not, because, as I stated in the article, tens of thousands of studies by organizations all over the world have not found a causal correlation between EMFs and compromised human health. However, if you truly want to reduce your carbon footprint, a gas stove won’t really do much–you’d have to take much larger steps such as not driving, and maybe removing yourself from the grid altogether.
Then you better stop living,do u know the natural annual radiation exposure of a human is minimum 1.5 msV;while a chest xray has max radiatiin of 0.1 msV approx..now start searching for a place in this universe which has no radiation
I have one gratitude to give. initially I had this perception that radiation is radiation… i didnt know of the ionising and the non-ionising. at list now i have a qlue what to look at… More extensive research on the non-ionising radiation would be the better way to go I guess… Since thats exactly the dirrectly related issue here….Thanks
Thank you for your comment! I’ve been thinking that I need to make the difference between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation clearer in the article. After all, this is probably the central issue, as people hear the word “radiation” and instantly think “cancer.” The truth is that we are all bombarded with non-ionizing radiation every day, all the time (and ionizing radiation from the sun), and not a single ill effect has been proven in the more than 30 years of rigorous testing for it.
I’m so glad you were able to get my point about that. That info should probably be front and center instead of halfway through so others can get it, as well. In any case, your comment made my day, so thanks again for that. 🙂
I commend your publishing of source materials and where your research actually came from. I ran across this article that is interesting. [BROKEN LINK] for those following the research on this topic. I am personally still in the wait and see camp. Its not something I HAVE to have so I think I will wait until a bit more has come in. But at the same time there isn’t a lot of hard data that shows any correlation to serious issues in relation to using induction cook tops. One of the big issues is using the proper sized cookware for the unit. The cookware HAS to cover the rings in order to limit its potential danger is something I have noted in a number of more thoughtful articles. Peace
Updated 2/25/21 by TRK to remove broken link.
Thanks for your comment! That link you sent is a reprint (partial) of the article that everyone uses to say that induction cooking is not safe. (The original is linked in my sources.) And it’s true that if a pan is not centered on a burner, or the pan is too small for the burner, that more EMFs are given off. (I discuss this in my article as well.) But if you read the conclusions of the Slovenian study, you will see that even though more EMFs are emitted, they are still not at unsafe levels, even for children and pregnant women.
And again, of the EMFs that are emitted, they are non-ionizing, and so the way they harm human flesh is by exciting molecules (a sort of burning), which you will feel, and you will move away from the source–problem solved. Induction stoves do not emit ionizing (i.e., cancer-causing) radiation.
My husband is a caterer, and he wants to get an induction heater. Thanks for the tip about using pots that cover the burners completely so there’s not excess radiation. Maybe my husband to make sure he has the right pan sizes before he buys one, and it might be a good idea for him to find an induction heater repair service just in case it breaks. We don’t want to have stray radiation in our house.
Here is an article on some rather compelling research on exactly this subject and ironically from McGill Uni where Lorne Trottier, a fierce opponent of anything suggesting dangers from ELF, is a major financial contributor to the science departments at McGill. Anyhoo enjoy what is potentially a good spoiler to the no-danger argument!
A Unified Theory of Weak Magnetic Field Action
McGill University Professor Proposes Radical New Outlook
September 27, 2012
August 12, 2013
Paul Héroux has a problem. He believes he has identified a way to control the growth of cancer cells, but he can’t get his ideas into print. “We think we have the Rosetta Stone that will allow us to unravel the intricacies of cancer physiology,” says Héroux, a professor at McGill University in Montreal. Yet, one scientific journal after another has refused to publish what he has found.
Part of Héroux’s problem is that his argument is based on an even more controversial proposition than a possible cure for cancer: That extremely weak magnetic fields can bring about major changes in DNA. That is a tough sell. Héroux ups the ante another notch by claiming to show that those changes are so easy to spot that you don’t need hi-tech instruments to see them, just a standard issue microscope. All you have to do is count chromosomes, admittedly with close attention to detail.
And that’s not all. Héroux says he has pinpointed where and how the magnetic field acts on the cell.
Héroux is in McGill’s Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health and runs the InVitroPlus Lab at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal.
Counting Excess Chromosomes
Héroux and his former graduate student, now postdoc, Ying Li have been counting the numbers of chromosomes in cancer cells before and after they are exposed to miniscule magnetic fields, much less than a 0.1 µT or a milligauss. The science is called karyology, the study of chromosomes (the karyotype, as they are collectively called). Karyology has been around for close to a hundred years, but it long ago lost favor as a research tool to more sophisticated techniques of modern molecular biology. A change in the number of chromosomes may be a somewhat gross measure of genetic changes, but it does have the advantage of being easy to see.
Unlike normal human cells, which have 46 chromosomes, cancer cells can have a larger —and variable— number of chromosomes. (Having more than 46 chromosomes, known as hyperploidy, is usually a sign of trouble, as in Down’s syndrome.)
A type of breast cancer cell, known as MCF-7, has an average of 74 chromosomes. When exposed to a 60 Hz magnetic field of as low as 25-50 nT (0.025-0.05 µT or 0.25-0.5 mG) for six days, the cells lose more than 10% of their chromosomes, according to Héroux and Li. They call the effect karyotype contraction and say that the change is highly statistically significant.
They repeated the same experiment with four other cell lines —those of lung and colon cancer and two different types of leukemia— and found essentially the same effect every time. The cells exposed to magnetic fields show a number of remarkable properties:
– After three weeks in the field, the number of chromosomes returns to baseline numbers;
– Once adapted to the magnetic field, the cells become exquisitely sensitive to further variations of the magnetic field. An increase or decrease of only 10 nT (0.01 µT, 0.1 mG) will prompt another round of karyotype contractions.
– The karyotype contractions vary very little over a wide range of field intensities —from 100 to 500 nT (0.1-0.5 µT, 1-5 mG). That is, there’s no dose-response.
Héroux and Li concede that much of this behavior is “unusual” and runs counter to “classical toxicology and epidemiology.” They say that they’re in unchartered territory that’s “unforeseen by conventional toxicological principles.”
In all five cell lines, the effects “are strikingly similar,” they write, and this suggests a “common, basic mechanism.”
ATPS: A Molecular Engine That Pumps Energy into a Cell
Héroux and Li propose that the magnetic field acts on ATP synthase (ATPS), an enzyme that catalyzes the production of adenosine triphosphate or ATP, the energy source for all living cells (see figure below).
ATPS is a large molecule that spans the cell membrane and functions like a tiny engine. Protons (hydrogen ions) tunnel through the narrow channels within ATPS into the interior of the cell and, in the process, generate ATP. The efficiency of the process helps determine the energy balance inside the cell.
Here’s a useful analogy from David Marcey of California Lutheran University:
Think of ATPS as a hydroelectric turbine that converts the kinetic energy of flowing water into electricity. The slower the water flows, the less electricity is generated, and vice versa. (Marcey has made an animated model which shows how ATPS works.)
According to Héroux , the magnetic fields can speed up or slow down the movement of the protons through the ATPS water channels and that this is what eventually leads to more or fewer chromosomes.
In a paper published last year in Tumor Biology, Li and Héroux showed that oligomycin, an antibiotic that can impair the action of ATPS, leads to karyotype contraction (as does a mix of melatonin and vitamin C). In their new paper, using this and other experimental evidence, Héroux and Li maintain that magnetic fields and oligomycin “share a common mode of action” and it takes place in ATPS.
The Russian Connection
Their new theory prompts the usual question: What biophysical force can explain how extremely weak magnetic fields can affect a biological system, in this case ATPS? Most mainstream scientists maintain that nanoTesla magnetic fields are much too small to overcome the random motion of molecules within living systems. Héroux and Li offer an answer—though it’s based on some obscure and largely forgotten Russian studies.
More than 20 years ago, Lyudmila Petrovna Semikhina and her thesis advisor Professor Vsevolod Kiselev at Moscow State University found evidence that magnetic fields can alter the structure of water at levels as low as 25 nT.
It may be hard to believe, but scientific understanding of the properties of water is still a work in progress. Take, for instance, a press release issued a few weeks ago by the University of California, San Diego, describing some new twists to the molecular structure of water. It includes this statement: “Water in the active sites of enzymes affects their catalytic power.” This is exactly the argument that the McGill scientists are making —with magnetic fields affecting the structure of water in the enzyme ATPS.
Here’s how Héroux explained what’s going on to Microwave News: “If the structure of the water in the proton channels within ATPS changes, the protons have a harder time tunneling through the membrane and this affects the efficiency of the rotor. This in turn leads to changes in the concentration of ATP which, in turn, triggers changes in the karyotype.”
“Extraordinarily Impressive Work”
Héroux and Li summarize all this in their paper: The experimental data showing karyotype contraction in the five different cell lines, the parallels between the action of magnetic fields and biologically important chemicals on ATPS and the effects of magnetic fields on the structure of water.
It’s not hard to see why journals might be reluctant to publish a paper that requires knowledge of cell biology, molecular biophysics and quantum electrodynamics. And they certainly have been. The McGill paper has been rejected by specialty radiation journals (Bioelectromagnetics and Radiation Research), more general scientific journals (Environmental Health Perspectives and Carcinogenesis) and broad interest journals (PLoSOne), Li said. Only two (BEMS and PLoSOne) bothered to send the manuscript out for peer review.
David Carpenter, the director of the Institute for Health and Environment at the University of Albany, took a close look at the all these results when he served as the outside reviewer for Li’s doctoral dissertation at McGill. In an interview, Carpenter showered the cell line work with one superlative after another. “It is extraordinarily impressive,” he said in a telephone interview. “I was blown away when I read it. It’s first rate and deserves major attention.”
Two long-time researchers on the effects of weak magnetic fields with backgrounds in engineering and physics are reserving judgment until they learn more about how the experiments were carried out. “The results are interesting, but I have concerns about the exposure system and the underlying theory,” said Frank Barnes, a distinguished professor at the University of Colorado in Boulder, who was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2001. “The experimental results are much more likely to be right than the theory,” he said. For more than 15 years, Barnes has been working on weak field effects with Russian scientists, notably Mikhail Zhadin of the Institute of Cell Biophysics in Pushchino.
Like Barnes, Abe Liboff, a retired professor of physics who is writing a book on Biological Sensitivity to the Earth’s Magnetic Field, is more impressed with the biology than the rest of the paper. “Some of it is very naïve, but obviously the experiments were carried out very carefully,” he said in an interview from Boca Raton, FL, where he now lives.
But possibly the best indicator that Héroux and Li are onto something important is that IREQ, the research arm of Hydro-Québec, the giant electrical utility is helping them to continue and extend this line of research. Michel Bourdages, a senior manager at IREQ, is supplying some big-ticket equipment which will allow them to do more sophisticated experiments. He is also providing funds to support Ying Li’s post-doctoral work in Héroux’s laboratory. Bourdages declined to be interviewed for this story.
Héroux worked at IREQ before joining McGill in 1987. While there, he designed the Positron meter, which was used in a set of influential epidemiological studies on worker exposures to EMFs. The Positron was the first meter that measured high-frequency transients that are ubiquitous in the distribution of electricity. Today, these transients are better known as dirty electricity. IREQ’s backing comes with a large measure of irony; we’ll come back to that a little later.
Can NanoTesla Fields Have Biological Effects?
All this raises another question: Is it even possible for nanoTesla (nT) magnetic fields to bring about biological effects? Liboff believes the answer is yes. “These very small fields are biologically active,” he said, “there’s no doubt about it.” Liboff points to the ability of birds and bees to be guided by the Earth’s static field. “Other than God’s little creatures,” he said, “three or four European groups have published reports of seeing effects at 40nT for time-varying fields.” Liboff regrets that there is so little interest in these weak field interactions in the U.S. “It’s completely different in Europe,” he said.
For his part, Barnes is more conservative. He said that he’s comfortable that there are effects in the tens of µT’s —which is 1,000 higher than the nT fields used in the Heroux-Li experiments.
As for the Russian work by Semikhina pointing to a 25 nT threshold that lies at the heart of Heroux’s grand theory, it’s obscure by any measure. No one we talked to had heard of it except for Vladimir Binhi, the head of the radiobiology lab at the General Physics Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow and the author of Magnetobiology. Binhi told us that others had tried and failed to repeat her experiments. “There are strong suspicions that her results are unreliable,” he said. Semikhina now teaches at Tyumen State University in western Siberia. She did not respond to a request for comment.
Although effects at nT field levels may fly in the face of current orthodoxy, they are not unheard of. For instance, last year, a group of Canadians from Laurentian University —Michael Persinger among them— reported that 1 to 5 nT magnetic fields suppressed the growth of melanoma cells in mice. The paper, though published in a mainstream journal, the International Journal of Radiation Biology, passed relatively unnoticed.
McGill University: A Center of Skepticism of EMF Health Effects
That Héroux, a long-time professor at McGill, is championing such a radical theory of weak-field interactions promises to lead to open conflict on campus. The university is a hotbed of EMF skepticism, promoted in large part by Lorne Trottier, a successful Canadian businessman and McGill graduate. Trottier made a fortune in the computer industry and has given vast sums to his alma mater. He is the largest donor to McGill’s Faculty of Science.
Trottier has paid for new buildings, endowed professorships and last year he gave McGill C$5.5 million to bring “legitimate science to a mainstream audience.” Trottier sponsors the university’s Office for Science and Society, run by a close associate, Joe Schwarcz, a chemistry professor who writes popular books on science and health.
On the side, Trottier and Schwarcz run the EMF & Health Web site, which, they say, is “dedicated to real science.” Their primary objective is dismissing any paper, report or presentation that might suggest low-level effects. They are all, without exception, attributed to pseudoscience and alarmist chatter. Trottier and Schwarcz have no doubt that cell phones, smart meters and power lines present no cancer risk or any health risk at all.
Another contributor to EMF & Health is Michel Plante, a medical doctor at Hydro-Québec. Plante, Trottier’s point man on power line health risks, believes that the link between magnetic fields and childhood leukemia is “likely a false alarm,” despite the fact that it has been repeatedly found in a large number of epidemiological studies and that those studies prompted the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) to classify low frequency magnetic fields as a possible human carcinogen (see MWN, J/A01, p.1).
Plante has a dubious history in EMF-health research. He played a central role in covering up one of the most intriguing epidemiological studies ever carried out on EMFs. That study was done at McGill under the direction of Gilles Thériault, the then chair of its Department of Occupational Health. Plante served as Hydro-Québec’s liaison to the McGill team.
Thériault’s results, which were published in 1994, showed a strong association between exposure to transients and the incidence of cancer among Hydro-Québec workers. Thériault found that the cancer risks among those most highly exposed were up to 15 times the expected rate (see MWN, N/D94, p.4). That study used the Positron meter to measure the workers’ exposures to power line EMFs and to high-frequency transients. This is the meter which Paul Héroux helped design back in the 1980s.
Hydro-Québec was furious that Thériault had published his findings and immediately confiscated the raw data, which had been collected at a cost of millions of dollars (see MWN, N/D94, p.1). Further access was barred and all further research stopped. Thériault’s paper is now largely forgotten. The work was never followed up.
Héroux Publishes, Bypassing Further Peer Review
Héroux is now stepping back into the EMF cauldron.
After a handful of rejection letters for his and Ying Li’s paper, Héroux decided to bypass further peer review and publish the paper on the arXiv Web site, an open access archive for scientific research run by Cornell University that serves primarily the physics, math, and quantitative biology communities. (The paper was posted today, September 27, 2012.)
Much of what is in the paper would probably have been published without too much trouble had Héroux been willing to break down his grand theory into its component parts and publish them separately. All those who have looked at the cell biology results have been impressed. In addition to those we interviewed, an anonymous peer reviewer for PloSOne called them “exceptionally interesting” and “very important,” adding that the “effect of magnetic fields on cancer karyotype is striking” and that “the lack of a dose-response curve and the clear evidence that the effect is not secondary to induced currents is convincing.” A second reviewer was equally positive. “Data presented in the manuscript show that there is a definite effect of magnetic fields on karyotype contraction,” he or she wrote.
Indeed, the first reviewer suggested that Héroux and Li work would be “better served” if they would break it down into several manuscripts. Asked why he did not do this, Héroux replied that he did not want to dilute his findings by slicing them up like salami.
If Héroux’s grand new theory is even partly right, he will have offered a number of testable ideas that might shed light on how to control cancer —as well as diabetes and other metabolic diseases. The cells’ sensitivity to magnetic fields following repeated exposure could also lead to a breakthrough in explaining the physiological basis for electromagnetic hypersensitivity. After all, as Héroux told us, “We have no reason to believe that the ATPS of normal cells is not affected by the fields, though we think that cancer cells are more susceptible because of their enhanced metabolism.”
Paul Héroux and Ying Li will now face a public peer review and, given the past history of the EMF debacle, it’s likely to be quite a ride.
August 12, 2013
Li and Héroux extend their argument in a new paper, “ELF Magnetic Fields Alter Cancer Cells Through Metabolic Restriction,” published in Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine. It was posted on the journal’s Web site on August 5.
Lyudmila Petrovna Semikhina,
Anyone out there selling EMF resistant aprons? 🙂
I just purchased and installed an induction cooktop. I’ve been excited to replace my traditional electric one.
I found this article because I am feeling / experiencing headache when I start-up the burner. This isn’t psychosomatic.
Does anyone else feel / experience similar?
Never in my life have I ever gotten headaches or felt discomfort in my head. The discomfort lingers after cooking. All of this concerns me quite a lot.
That’s very weird, indeed. Unfortunately, I am not a medical expert, nor am I familiar with such a thing happening. I think you should probably check with a doctor.
Sorry I can’t be more help.
This is the reason as well why i found this article . Yes i have the same . Became dizzy and feel like want to collapse and fo no reason i looked at my stove and asked “who are u and what are u? “ then i began to research how induction really actually works .
Hi Miriam, Thanks for the comment. You should probably see a doctor if your symptoms persist.
Induction vs pacemakers was found safe in this study on punned. “The programmed parameters remained unchanged after the study. In conclusion, this study shows no EMI risk of an induction oven in patients with bipolar or right-sided unipolar pacemakers.” I thought people might like to know.
Note: Edited on 2/25/21 by TRK: broken link removed.
Induction rangesundefinedcooktops are most likely the best way to go if you want to have less environmental impact, and they also are great at keeping the heat down in the kitchen (a saviour during heatwaves and in hot climates)!
The lack of excess heat is one of induction cooking's lesser-known eco-friendly attributes. Traditional gas and electric ranges heat up the air around the pan, losing up to half their heat to the surrounding environment. Not a good thing for large kitchen spaces like restaurants and warm climates – which are often made hotter with cooking.
This means having to crank up the air conditioning (if you're lucky to have it) when you're cooking – but not so with induction, where all the heat is transferred to the pot and very little ambient heat is generated. So induction cooking essentially reduces the heat in the kitchen.
Thanks for your input James!
The frequency of the radiation is only half the story. The other half is polarization which I cannot see you have covered in your article. Here is a relevant article from ncbi:
>Polarization: A Key Difference between Man-made and Natural Electromagnetic Fields, in regard to Biological Activity
>Man-Made EMR is more Active biologically than Natural Non-Ionizing EMR
>Polarized EMFsundefinedEMR can have increased biological activity, due to: 1) Ability to produce constructive interference effects and amplify their intensities at many locations. 2) Ability to force all chargedundefinedpolar molecules and especially free ions within and around all living cells to oscillate on parallel planes and in phase with the applied polarized field.
Thank you for those sources Soumyo. Very interesting. The article I read seems to be about cell phone towers and extremely low frequency radio waves (ELFs). ELFs can definitely have an impact on living tissue and there are strict guidelines for the people who work on and around them. This does not seem to apply to other EMFs such as those in an induction cooktop (though I could be wrong about that).
For anyone wanting to follow up, here is the link to the article Soumyo sent:https://www.nature.com/articles/srep14914#:~:text=Man%2DMade%20EMR%20is%20Polarized,or%20elliptically%20polarized%20fields%2Fwaves.
I did a quick Google search and found that most of the alarmist articles about polarizing man-made EMFs quote the above article or some copy of it (which are all over the Internet). For those interested in a different point of view, I found this refutation to the article: http://skimmed.cream.org/nature-polarised-emf-nonsense/
If you’re interested in doing the research, please read both articles.
Hi, thank you for sharing that rebuttal. It was very interesting. However, the author states that many natural sources of radiation are polarized "partially" and those radiations in nature are far stronger than what you get in electronic devices, and this argument concludes with an analogy "10% of a million quid is more than 100% of a thousand quid!". My only issue is that I'm not quite satisfied with that 10%. The author does mention that the book also contained an exercise which asked the reader to evaluate the angle at which the sunlight reflecting off from a lake would be 100% polarized. However, exactly what percent of the sunlight gets reflected and if such angles are generally found in nature are not answered, and again, I'm not quite satisfied with that 10% in the analogy which could be far lower. Since these are the crux of the arguments of that rebuttal, it still leaves a lot of space for skepticism and erring on the side of caution while handling electronic devices.
Very skewed article, deliberately excludes the many studies that posit a link between non-ionising radiation and cancer in animals. THAT is the reason it is a 2b carcinogen, not because it can't be disproven beyond a doubt. How dishonest.
This article is based on valid research. Please send sources, like Soumyo did, that substantiate your points. I would love to look at them.
I don’t have a gas cooker just an induction hob. Will I ever be able to get good results like this?
Seems induction would be the green choice since it could use alternative energy, and use and less than electric ranges
Good read… Science doesnt have conclusive evidence, it could be dangerous in the long run, its just they couldnt find the evidence yet. Btw wikipedia is surely a very credible source.
I lost interest when I read ‘’according to Wikipedia’’, LOL this article has a clear bias by quoting favourable scientific claims
Thanks for the comment! Very wise to do objective research and draw your own conclusions. 😉
Thank you for that infomation i have a steamier for food kettle ect but internet says the produce many toxins regarding leakage od plastic when hot copper other metal im very confused they say glass kettles are best and stainless steel no none stick im worried my appliances and unhealthy and would like to know what to buy free of toxins thank you very much.
Hi Maureen, Yes, it can be confusing which cookware is safe. Different sites hold different opinions on this, but we generally agree that nonstick coatings can be unsafe, especially Teflon/PTFE. Some will disagree, but we believe, from our research, that stainless steel, cast iron, and carbon steel are all safe to cook on. Stainless steel in particular is a very stable, non-reactive material, and the iron released by cast iron and carbon steel is required by the human body.
People who are anti-stainless steel prefer glass or stoneware cookware, which is almost certainly safe, especially if it has no dyes in it. But glass and stoneware can be awful to cook on, unfortunately.
Opinions differ wildly. There are scientific studies done on all the different types of cookware, and you can find many of them online, but it can be hard to sort out all the information. I wish there was an easier way, but you really have to do your own research and make your own decision. We have some good articles on cookware safety–especially nonstick cookware–on our Cookware page, so you may want to start there. But there are many other sources out there, too. Good luck with your search and if you have any more questions, please let us know.
Thank you for this well reasoned and well researched article. I would like to point out that while there may be no probable side effects of induction cooking, there are proven negative effects of natural gas cooking. For example there is a proven 40% increase in childhood asthma in homes that use gas cooktops.
There was one small error in your article that I also wish to point out. You mention that hearing “(is) the result of human interaction with different electromagnetic waves.” This is unfortunately not true. While sound does involve vibration, it is vibration of a medium (air) whereas EMFs travel through a vacuum.
Thank you for your comment and for the correction!-Melanie
Can you please update the link to the main naysayer article/document? The current link is broken and it would be interesting to read based on the context set here.
Hi John, we had trouble finding another printing of this article. We found one, but you have to register to read it and may need to pay a small fee. We are sorry about this; if we can find another free source of it we will certainly update the article.
The more important finding is that this research is now more than 10 years old. We need to take a new look at this topic and find updated sources.
Thanks for commenting.
Curious to your thoughts on this and I wouldn't be surprised if you looked at it already. It's from the bioinitiative site and shows's that there are many studies on non-ionizing radiation and how it has a negative effect.
Guessing sperm is negatively affected by induction don't you think? And if that's an issue that means dna damage is being done?
Thanks for your thoughtful site!
Hi Shane, we have NOT seen this and will take a deeper look at it. At first glance, it looks like the studies were done on different frequencies than induction cooktops.
A few of them were done on low- and extremely-low frequency EMFs, 50-60Hz. The study on testosterone production in rats was done on STATIC magnetic frequency, which also is not applicable to induction (SMF operates at 0Hz, which I don’t fully understand yet).
Induction cooktops operate at 25-50KHz, and the frequency is alternating, not static. I haven’t looked at all the studies listed, but the ones I’ve glanced at do not apply to induction.
This does not mean that there may not be concerns with induction–there may be. Because of yours and other recent comments, it’s apparent that we need to take a fresh look at this topic and read up on the latest studies. (The study we cite was done in 2011, so it’s more than 10 years old.)
Thanks for commenting. Let us know if there is a specific study in the list you linked to that we should take a look at (it would be a huge help and time saver!).
So, other bad things exist and that makes this bad thing safe? That’s not very rational.
Rational is some EMFs have been proven harmful so it’s a good bet that this one might be too.
At the very least any rational person would keep the 30cm distance when cooking.
There are many bad things in the world. You have to pick and choose which ones you are willing to accept, expose yourself to, or otherwise accept the risks of dealing with. The sun can cause cancer. Driving is the most dangerous thing most people do on a routing basis. And the computer or cell phone at which you typed your comment emits EMFs, as do all the electrical appliances in your home. The point of this article is that induction cooktops are no more unsafe than standard stoves and microwaves, and from the research we’ve done, we believe this is the most rational, scientific position to take.
If you understand the science of EMFs, you can better make those choices for yourself. It’s fine to err on the side of caution, and certainly wise in many situations. But if you do too much of that, you’ll end up living in a cave.
There may be new research uncovered since we published this article; we are always open to new information that may change our position. But for today, this is where we’re at.
Thanks for the comment.