The important reasons why bringing an induction stove into your home should be approached with caution as this technology is a source of excessive EMF toxicity as confirmed by scientific study. Even induction stove user manuals warn against standing too close!
Buying a kitchen stove is a rare purchase most people make only a few times in a lifetime. Currently, the trend toward replacing electric cooktops with an induction stove is quite popular. Is this a wise purchase? Let’s take a look …
In our home, we purchased a glass top stove in 1997 when we completely remodeled the (very old) kitchen. At that time, the range we selected boasted the latest and greatest technology which included a glass top cooking surface.
We were upgrading from a tiny 1950’s stove (see hilarious picture below) that while it seemed to fit very well with the orange, 1970s style wallpaper, fake butcher block countertops and canary yellow cabinets (no kidding), it was not something we regretted replacing!
While this new range was awesome (so nice not to have to clean up messes under coil burners anymore!) and has served us well for many years, it recently came time to replace it when problems developed.
Induction, Gas or Electric?
Since we had upgraded to the best technology many years earlier with good results, we thought we should probably do so again. This involved the purchase of an induction stove with all the bells and whistles. The upgrade hopefully would make my many hours spent in the kitchen even more efficient.
Since indoor air-polluting gas stoves were thankfully not an option for our neighborhood, electric was our only choice. We made the rounds to Best Buy, Home Depot, and online to see what was available.
We eventually settled on a stainless steel induction stove. It offered nearly all the latest technology of the (amazing but ridiculously expensive) Viking stoves that celebrity chefs use but with a much more reasonable price tag.
This is the induction stove we originally picked that thankfully, we never bought (we bought this one instead).
I particularly liked the extra-large knobs and oversized glass top that prevented spills from trickling down the crack between the stove and the countertop. It was exactly what I was looking for.
We also decided to get the matching convection oven (that also functions as a toaster) to replace our old microwave oven that I only ever used for storage anyway.
Little Known Dangers of an Induction Stove
Really excited about our upcoming purchase, I posted about it on social media to see if anyone had any further input.
Right away, a couple of comments got my attention.
Jeanette K. said, “My mother’s induction stove was measured by EMF professionals and had extreme readings.”
In addition, Beth H. warned that “The only downfall [with an induction stove] is that you have to use pans that magnets can stick to”.
So glad I asked for the input! Neither of these concerns about induction stoves was mentioned by the salespeople I spoke to or the marketing material I had reviewed.
Since I frequently cook with glass, having to only use pans that magnets can stick to would be a serious downside.
It would require purchase of a few pieces of new cookware and bakeware which I really didn’t want or need.
But, it was Jeanette’s comment about the EMF dangers of an induction stove that really gave me pause. EMF overexposure is a huge concern of mine that I’ve written many articles about.
We take great pains in our home to minimize excessive EMF exposure such as turning off wifi at night, using radiation canceling cases and headsets for our cellphones, and EMF shields for our PCs and notebooks.
I also avoid dirty electricity in our home by never using dimmer switches, fluorescent, or LED bulbs.
In addition, we use battery power for our electronics as much as possible. Higher EMF exposure occurs when you use a laptop while it is plugged in, for example.
Induction Technology Emits Strong Magnetic Fields
When I started examining the technology behind an induction stove, I was more than a little shocked and incredibly grateful Jeanette had commented about it to clue me in to do further research. Here’s what I found out:
The technology of an induction stove works by alternating magnetic fields that generate heat in a cooking vessel made of ferrous metals. The benefits of induction cooking as opposed to thermal heating with a traditional stovetop include up to 50% faster and more even cooking of the food and slightly reduced energy usage.
Parents of young children like it because the coil itself underneath the glass stovetop doesn’t actually get hot. This means the cooking surface stays cool and won’t burn little hands or steam up if you spill liquid on it.
While it is extremely controversial whether this type of radiation source is actually dangerous, the data is sufficient enough for me to avoid it.
The latest information I found that should give anyone pause about bringing an induction stove into their home was published by the Journal Bioelectromagnetics in 2012. (1)
The study authors concluded 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.
The worst-case scenario was an up to 16-fold increase from these maximum exposure levels!
So how in the world did induction stoves ever pass the safety tests?
According to Powerwatch, the safety tests assumed that a person’s body is never closer than 1 foot (30 cm) to the front of the induction stove. Standing that far away would be considered “normal usage”.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t cook standing at least a foot away from my stove. My arms definitely aren’t long enough!
In fact, this would be pretty much impossible if you needed to reach the back burners.
Don’t Use a Microwave? You Won’t Want Induction Either
The bottom line is that if you avoid microwaved food and microwaves in general, you will want to pass on the induction stove as it uses similar technology.
I’ve not used a microwave in 25 years (and not missed it for a second, I might add). Why would I start now exposing myself and my family to potentially dangerous, concentrated sources of EMFs with an induction stove which works in a similar fashion?
Of course, induction stove manufacturers insist the technology is safe.
They claim that the radiation hazard dissipates within a few inches to a foot of the appliance. “Normal usage” would not expose a person to a radiation hazard.
I’ll pass thanks.
Fortunately, the exact same stove I wanted was available in a traditional, thermally based cooktop without an induction feature. This is the case with all the induction ranges I examined in fact!
This is the stainless steel electric stove model we eventually bought. We’ve had it for several years now and continue to love it! As a bonus, it much more easily fit within our budget than the unsafe induction models!
Sometimes the latest and greatest isn’t always the best or even the safest.
(1) Exposure of the human body to professional and domestic induction cooktops compared to the basic restrictions
(2) Powerwatch: In Your Home. EMF Cooking Safety
(3) Induction stove user manual
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My brother bought a $2500 Samsung induction stovetop and the high frequency noise it emits is unbearable for me. Not only can I hear it, I can feel it in my head and body too. He thought I was exaggerating until I showed him. These should really come with health warnings. BEWARE!!
I bought a GE double oven I love it at my old house I had a Maytag black color but Maytag only had stainless I hate stainless I clean for a living and clean them all day I optic for slate color so easy to clean!! I was thinking about buying an induction oven ( sister has one) so easy to clean but now I’m glad I didn’t!!!
Is one able to do canning on these glass top stoves?
That is the same stove that I have! Only thing I wish was different would be for the larger oven to be one top.
I have used induction cooking for many years with no apparent ill effects. of course, you must use magnetized cookware for it to work. importantly, you need not hang around the stove for long cooking as it comes with a timer. so once you are done with sauteing you just set the timer for the period of time the dish has to cook, adjust the temperature setting and go about your other business in the kitchen/home. i use induction because it is super efficient energy consumption wise and in terms of saving time
When you home cook most meals everyday your around the stove much longer and often I spend time stirring things and flipping things and you can’t leave the stove area of fear of food sticking and scorching so no you are near the stove more than you think!!!
Sarah, the link to the hob you bought appears to take me to an Induction hob on Amazon, can you be more specific about the type of hob you bought please,
Oh no! I hate when Amazon does that …. changes the product link I originally put in to the very product I’m NOT recommending. Thanks for the heads up. Here’s the one we have. https://amzn.to/3Le7mfI
Note that the reviews on Amazon are not good, but we love ours (have had it for several years now). Amazon reviews are often fake, so beware of that!
Thanks for this article. I am a natural builder and our family avoids microwaves, is careful with cell phones and laptops and avoid Wifi but we were wondering about induction for a tiny house we are putting in. This was a well written and well-informed, convincing article. Thanks!
Methinks not so fast, sir. I am wary of all the same problems stated in the article but then I tripped over, ‘ if you avoid microwaved food and microwaves in general, you will want to pass on the induction stove as it uses similar technology.’
There is nothing in the article that supports this claim and I doubt that the high frequency ionizing radiation produced by a ‘micro’wave would be required to induce magnetism in a magnetic material at close range. I shell begin my research; please send yours.
Why don’t you pickup a more accurate title. Something like” my life and my family “?
Sarah, the research you quoted is almost 10 y/o. Do you have any current research, or know if reputable companies have done anything to shield their products?
Sarah Pope MGA
Check the user manual of the models you are interested in … they will tell you what the “safe distance” is to be from the unit when it is on.