Saunas have been used for centuries for their therapeutic benefits, including relaxation, stress relief, and improved blood circulation. In recent years, infrared saunas have gained popularity due to their ability to penetrate deeper into the body and provide more efficient heat therapy. However, concerns have been raised about the potential health effects of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) emitted by these saunas. In this article, we will discuss the EMF levels in saunas and whether infrared saunas emit EMFs.
EMF levels in saunas:
EMFs are a form of non-ionizing radiation that are emitted by electrical and electronic devices. They are measured in units of gauss (G) or milligauss (mG) and can be classified as extremely low frequency (ELF) or radiofrequency (RF) EMFs. ELF EMFs are emitted by power lines, appliances, and other electrical devices, while RF EMFs are emitted by wireless communication devices such as cell phones and Wi-Fi routers.
Saunas can also emit EMFs, which are generated by the heating elements used to create the heat inside the sauna. The heating elements in traditional saunas are typically electric or gas-powered, and the EMF levels can vary depending on the age and design of the sauna. A study conducted in Finland found that the EMF levels in traditional saunas ranged from 2 to 80 mG, with an average of 8.9 mG (1).
Infrared saunas and EMFs:
Infrared saunas use infrared radiation to heat the body, which is a form of radiant heat that penetrates deeper into the body than traditional saunas. Infrared saunas can be classified as near-infrared, mid-infrared, or far-infrared saunas, depending on the wavelength of the infrared radiation used.
There is some debate over whether infrared saunas emit EMFs. Some manufacturers claim that their saunas emit very low levels of EMFs, while others state that their saunas are completely EMF-free. However, a study conducted by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority found that all infrared saunas emit some level of EMFs, with levels ranging from 0.6 to 5 mG (2).
It is important to note that the EMF levels in infrared saunas are generally lower than those in traditional saunas. This is because infrared saunas use ceramic or carbon heating elements, which generate less EMFs than electric or gas-powered heating elements. Additionally, many infrared saunas are designed with EMF shielding materials to reduce EMF exposure.
What is EMF in a sauna?
EMF in a sauna refers to the electromagnetic fields that are emitted by the heating elements used to create the heat inside the sauna. EMFs are a form of non-ionizing radiation that can penetrate the body and potentially have health effects. The health effects of EMFs are a subject of debate, with some studies suggesting that EMFs can increase the risk of cancer, while others have found no association (3).
It is important to note that the EMF levels in saunas are generally considered safe for most people. The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) has set guidelines for exposure to EMFs, which recommend a maximum exposure limit of 1000 mG for ELF EMFs and 2000 mG for RF EMFs (4). The EMF levels in saunas are typically much lower than these guidelines, and the exposure time is limited to the duration of the sauna session.
In conclusion, EMF levels in saunas can vary depending on the type and design of the sauna. Traditional saunas typically emit higher levels of EMFs than infrared saunas, but the EMF levels in infrared saunas can vary depending on the manufacturer and design. It is important to note