Induction hobs are the latest “must have” cooking technology. They are trendy looking, easy to clean, give instant heat, are energy efficient, and said to be more controllable than any other type of hob once you get used to using one.
It all sounds too good to be true until you realise that induction hobs work by generating very high electromagnetic fields (EMFs), many of which have been found to far exceed recommended levels of exposure to whoever is doing the cooking.
Old-fashioned gas, electric and ceramic hobs all heat food by heating the pan it is placed in. Induction hobs are completely different. The heat is generated by placing a pan in the magnetic field generated by a high-frequency electromagnet under the ceramic surface of the hob, and it’s the pan itself that generates the heat that cooks the food. Because of this, only pans made of cast iron or stainless steel with a magnetic bottom can be used because only these are able to support a magnetic field. They must also have a completely flat base.
The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) sets guidelines for acceptable levels of EMF exposure, but a study conducted in Switzerland in 2012 found that most induction hobs exceed these levels by as much as 16-fold. With so much exposure to EMFs in other parts of our homes these days, why would anyone want to increase this even more and to such a high degree?
Leading expert, Alasdair Philips, states that ‘induction hobs, if used at all, should be used with great caution and that pregnant women (including those trying to become pregnant) and children should keep out of the kitchen while induction cookers are in use.’
If you’re reading this and already have an induction hob in your home or are thinking of buying one, then the only way to know for sure what level of EMFs your particular brand and model emits is to use an EMF meter to check it.
Would I have one in my home? Absolutely not. Give me good old-fashioned gas every time.
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