Know those cool and trendy looking induction hobs? (This is a Miele by the way, taken from their site.) Well, not only are they seriously expensive (a Miele 930mm hob could cost you nearly £2,000…) but according to some new research reported by PowerWatch, they are delivering alarmingly high levels of electromagnetic radiation to anyone standing within 30cm/1 foot of them.
According to Powerwatch, induction hobs work by generating high levels of electromagnetic frequencies which ‘induce currents to flow in the metal pans which cause them to heat up. The top of the cooker stays relatively cool (hence the safety claims for induction hobs) and is mostly heated by contact with the pan’.
The new research, carried out by the Swiss Foundation for Research on Information Technologies in Society, measured the radiation levels of 16 cooktops. They found that 13 of them complied with the limits set by the ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection) in 1998 which are already considered by many to be set far too high. However, they only complied providing that you were standing a foot away from the cookery – effectively at arm’s length. If you were standing any closer, they exceeded the limits.
They also pointed out that, due to the softness of their skulls, the brain tissue of young children (and therefore, presumably, a child in the womb) ‘can be over-exposed by 6 dB or a factor of 2.’
For a ‘ worst-case cooktop compliant with the measurement standards, assuming your body is never closer than 1 foot to the appliance,’ they go on, ‘the current density exceeds the 1998 ICNIRP basic restrictions by up to a factor of 16-fold.’
Anyone fancy a nice gas cooker?…. Although even then you are not entirely safe unless, as Dr Sarah Myhill has pointed out, you make sure that your cooker is well ventilated so that you are not subjecting yourself to gas fumes. They may no longer be toxic enough to kill you, but if they hang around your kitchen, they do not improve your health.