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Are Induction Cooktops Safe? 4 Facts You Need To Know

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No more scrubbing coils, less risk of fires, cooking time slashed in half… What’s that? Induction cooktops really seem like the ultimate kitchen upgrade. But with all these benefits, a critical question remains: Are induction cooktops safe?

What is an Induction Cooktop?

Before we dive into the big question, “Are induction cooktops safe?”, let’s first unravel what an induction cooktop actually is.

These kitchen marvels have been skyrocketing in popularity, especially since their prices dropped after 2010.

At first glance, an induction cooktop might look like any standard glass-top electric cooktop. But don’t be fooled! Instead of using electric resistance, induction cooktops use electromagnetic energy, much like your trusty microwave oven.

induction cooktop

Once the secret weapon of professional chefs, induction cooktops have now made their way into our homes. Why? Because they cook faster and more efficiently.

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Imagine boiling a pot of water in half the time it takes on a regular gas stove. Sounds like magic, right? But how do they pull off this culinary wizardry?

How do Induction Cooktops Work?

Beneath the sleek surface of an induction cooktop lies an induction coil. When you turn on the cooktop, this coil produces alternating currents, typically ranging between 20 and 100 kHz.

These currents generate a magnetic field that creates circular currents known as induction—this is a type of electromagnetic radiation (EMF).

When you place a compatible pan, made of materials like cast iron, stainless steel, or layered stainless steel, onto the induction cooktop, it interacts with the magnetic field.

The pan itself becomes part of the electromagnetic circuit, and this interaction produces heat directly in the pan.

This process is incredibly efficient because the heat is generated in the cookware rather than on the cooktop surface, leading to faster and more even heating.

Induction cooktops are unique because they only work with certain types of cookware.

Pans must be ferromagnetic, meaning they contain iron or have a layer that can conduct magnetic fields.

This is why cast iron and most stainless steel pans work perfectly, while glass, aluminum, and copper pans generally do not unless they have a magnetic layer.

The result of this technology is lightning-fast heating that turns everyday cooking into an extraordinary experience.

You get precise control over the temperature, quicker cooking times, and an easy-to-clean surface since the cooktop itself doesn’t get as hot.

Want to see the magic in action? Check out this quick and fascinating explainer video

Are Induction Cooktops Safe?

Now that you understand what induction cooktops are and how they work, let’s move to the big question: are induction cooktops safe?

Well, as a starting point, induction cooktops emit measurable levels of EMF radiation—radiation that would not be in your environment without the induction stove.

Each additional amount of EMF you are exposed to increases your risk of developing numerous negative health effects.

So, are induction cooktops safe? No, they’re definitely not!

are induction cooktops radiation safe?
Induction cooktops are efficient, attractive and very easy to clean. But what are the safety and health risks?

When it comes to the disadvantages of induction hobs, particularly the EMF risks of induction cooking surfaces, there are two considerations.

1. The Amount of EMF In Your Immediate Environment

All electrical heaters create high levels of EMF radiation—that’s how they work. Induction cooktops are no exception. 

So, whenever you use induction cooktops, they add a significant amount of EMF in your already EMF-polluted home—putting you at risk of many health problems ranging from minor sleep disorders to chronic diseases like cancer.You can visit my “EMF Health Effects” page to learn more about the health risks associated with EMF.

2. It’s So Close

Besides the increased EMF pollution in your immediate environment, there’s another problem with induction cooktops: distance.

As you may know, according to the inverse square law of physics, the power of EMF is strongest at its source, and it weakens as it moves further away.

Since creating a measurable distance from your induction cooktop is virtually impossible while cooking, you expose yourself to EMF where it’s at its strongest.

But things don’t end here.

3. When You Touch the Cookware

As I mentioned above, induction stoves heat your metal cookware by making it part of their electromagnetic circuit. It’s pretty cool technology—until you realize that your body, which is also a good conductor of electromagnetic fields, can join this circuit too!

Here’s how it works: Induction cooktops use magnetic fields to directly heat metal cookware. This process is efficient and fast, but it also means that the cookware becomes part of an electromagnetic circuit.

Every time you touch the cookware while cooking, your body becomes part of this electromagnetic dance.

Now, like electricity, EMF needs to keep moving, always looking for a path to follow.

Usually, electricity comes from a source and goes back to it, creating a continuous loop (for a deeper dive, check out my “Grounding Myths” post). Since EMF is a product of electricity, it behaves similarly.

So, when you touch that hot pan on your induction cooktop, the EMF flows through your body, finding any route it can to keep moving.

Why is this a big deal?

While EMF won’t electrocute you like direct electrical contact, it can still affect your biological systems, leading to various problems over time.

4. They Exceed the ICNIRP Exposure Limits

The ICNIRP, or International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, is an organization that sets all the guidelines on the levels of EMF that electronic devices and electrical appliances can generate.

Though many experts disagree with the ICNIRP guidelines, we also don’t have many options. 

And, some studies even say that the EMF emissions from some induction cooktops don’t even fall within the ICNIRP guidelines, which is already flawed.

As just one of many examples, a research group from Switzerland says that “most induction hobs (rings) exceeded even the high 1998 maximum exposure levels set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) when a person was standing close to the induction stove.”

For this experiment, they analyzed the EMF emissions from 13 professional induction cooktops.

They found that in most cases, the emission levels only matched the ICNIRP limits when the individual working on the device was at least 1 foot (30 cm) away from the appliance.

And since it’s a cooking device, it’s virtually impossible to maintain a 1-foot distance. So are induction cooktops really safe?

Confirming this, Powerwatch UK also said,

“When cooking with a magnetic induction hob, the whole body is highly exposed to EMFs, and hands and arms’ exposure exceeds the normal ICNIRP (not very precautionary) levels, which are set high and only protect against gross acute (immediate) effects. Induction hobs operating at 20 kHz can generate field levels 3 times higher than ICNIRP levels.”

The Solution

So, there you have it—the deep dive into the question, “Are induction cooktops safe?”

But don’t go just yet! Understanding the solution is just as crucial as grasping the problem.

Only then can you make meaningful changes to safeguard yourself and your loved ones in our high-tech world.

But what’s the solution? Quitting cooking isn’t an option, right? So, here’s the exciting part: what can you do instead?

Gas and Propane Stoves

Unquestionably, gas and propane stoves are the best alternatives to induction cooktops. They don’t emit EMF, which makes them completely safe to use when it comes to EMF-induced health risks.

However, there are gas ranges in the market that are WiFi-enabled. These allow you to do things like change settings from your phone, receive push alerts, monitor the health of the appliance, and operate it via smart remote control. 

These kinds of “smart” appliances emit significant amounts of EMF. So, when buying gas stoves, keep an eye out for WiFi features.

gas stove

What if you already have a smart gas range? Well, you can call a technician to remove the RF antenna from the motherboard. This will stop the wireless functionality and give you a normal, non-EMF-emitting gas range.

Besides EMF, some people are also chemically sensitive. So, gas and propane stoves might not be the perfect choice for them.

If that’s the case for you, choose an infrared cooktop.

Infrared Cooktop

Most modern hotplates and ceramic-topped stoves are designed to use infrared technology.

I’ve written a separate in-depth post on why infrared is a safer alternative to other EMF types, so give it a read.

Besides that, infrared cooktops use less energy, they’re fast, and you don’t need specific cookware to activate them.

induction cooktop x infrared cooktop

If you’re looking to install a new cooking method and don’t want to use gas or propane, infrared cooktops could be the best alternative for you.

But what if you already own an induction stove?

What if You Already Own an Induction Stove?

Now, you may be concerned about the EMF health risks from an induction stove but have little or no choice about it because you have already purchased one. Or maybe your home came with one installed.

In this case, it’s financially impractical to replace your appliance. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do.

There are ways to use induction cooktops more safely, some of which you can find in the recommendations from the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health about induction hobs:

  • Use a pan or pot that completely covers the cooking zone; otherwise, you will likely create stray EMF fields heading in unpredictable directions;
  • Do not use damaged cookware with buckled or warped bases;
  • Use the rear cooking surfaces instead of the front ones (as they are further away from your body);
  • Use only cookware that is labeled by the manufacturer as suitable for induction cooking;
  • Stand as far away from the cooking surface as possible when in use;
  • Do not use metal utensils for cooking;
  • If your cookware’s handle is made from a conductive metal, consider purchasing an insulating handle for it, such as a silicone handle cover. Or, for a simpler alternative, use a cooking towel when you touch the handle.
are induction cooktops safe?
Using a silicone handle cover, or even just a regular cooking towel, makes it safer to cook with an induction stove.

Besides these, there are some other things you can do to limit your EMF exposure from your induction cooktop while using it. Have a look.

Maximize Distance When You Can

Though you have to be close to the appliance to cook your food, you don’t have to be close to it throughout your cooking session.

The power of EMF weakens as it travels further from the source. So, if you’re standing even two feet away from the appliance, the EMF your body receives will be much weaker than what it was at the source.

So, create a distance with your induction cooktop whenever you can.

Use EMF Shielding Products

Besides adding distance between your body and the induction cooktop, you can also use EMF shielding products (like the ones Shield Your Body makes and sells) to enhance your EMF protection.

Here are some of the products I recommend.

SYB Boxer Briefs

Male reproductive organs are way more sensitive to EMF than female organs. And prolonged exposure can easily cause a raft of issues such as infertility, low semen count, and erectile dysfunction.

(Note that this doesn’t mean women are completely safe. Read my post “EMF Radiation Health Dangers for Women” for more information.)So, to protect your reproductive organs, you can get the SYB Boxer Briefs.

They’re made from 42% silver, with 53% cotton and 5% nylon, making them a comfortable yet powerful EMF protection shield.

SYB Bandana & SYB Neck Gaiter

Besides your reproductive organs, your brain and neck are also highly susceptible to EMF-induced health problems. You can protect these body parts by using the SYB Bandana and/or the SYB Neck Gaiter.

Visit the SYB store to learn more about how these products work and how to use them.

Remove Background EMF

Induction cooktops are one source of your EMF exposure. If you look around, you’ll see many electronic devices and electrical appliances, exposing you to similar kinds of radiation.

So besides reducing your EMF exposure from your induction cooktop, I also recommend turning off all the unnecessary EMF sources running in the background.

This will significantly reduce the EMF pollution in your home, further reducing your risk of developing EMF-induced health problems.

Keep Your Children Away From the Appliance While It’s Running

Children are more vulnerable to EMF’s biological effects than adults (here’s why). So, make sure that your children aren’t near the induction cooktop when it’s running.

This also applies if you’re pregnant. The fetus is even more susceptible to health effects that result from prolonged EMF exposure. Research has found that pregnant women exposed to high levels of EMF have an almost three times greater risk of miscarriage. 

If you’re pregnant, I’d recommend you don’t go near the induction stove when it’s running. However, if you absolutely have to, you can wrap the SYB Baby Blanket around your belly, which will create a powerful EMF shield, deflecting EMF radiation coming towards your stomach.

And finally, if you wear a pacemaker, I strongly advise against going near an induction cooktop when it’s running. That’s because the EMF can interfere with your pacemaker, causing it to malfunction or stop working entirely.

Read my post “Pacemakers & EMF” for more information.

Final Thoughts

Though increasing EMF is a significant concern, our goal isn’t to convince you to quit technology. Instead, we want you to create a healthier relationship with it.

Start small—keep a bit of distance from EMF sources, and reduce your use of EMF-emitting devices. These simple changes can make a huge difference over time.

For more tips on living safely in our high-tech world, check out my post, “10 Best EMF Protection Tips for a Safer, Healthier Life.”

Learn how to enjoy modern conveniences without worrying about the potential health risks.

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About the Author

R Blank is the CEO of Shield Your Body, which he founded in 2012. With hundreds of thousands of customers in over 30 countries, and having been interviewed on platforms including Dr. Phil, ABC news television and ElectricSense, R is an internationally followed expert on issues of EMF, health and safety. He also hosts “The Healthier Tech Podcast”, available Apple, Spotify and all major podcasting platforms. In the past, he served on the faculty at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering as well as the University of California, Santa Cruz. Previously, R ran a software engineering firm in Los Angeles, producing enterprise-level solutions for blue chip clients including Medtronic, Apple, NBC, Toyota, Disney, Microsoft, the NFL, Ford, IKEA and Mattel. He has spoken at conferences around the world, including in the US, Canada, New Zealand and the Netherlands, and he is the co-author, along with his father Dr. Martin Blank, of ‘Overpowered‘ from Seven Stories Press about the science of health effects of EMF radiation. He has an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and received his bachelor’s degree, with honors, from Columbia University. He has also studied at Cambridge University in the UK; the University of Salamanca in Spain; and the Institute of Foreign Languages in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. Read more about R and SYB or connect with R on LinkedIn.

Have a Question?

I take pride in designing great, effective products, based on real, measurable science – AND taking the time to ensure that each and every one of you has the information you need to understand EMF and make informed decisions.

So if you have a question, just email me and ask.

R Blank

R Blank