Another Dangerous Cooking Appliance – Induction Stovetops

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Blog | Jan, 10 2016

Another Dangerous Cooking Appliance – Induction Stovetops

induction oven

Since last week I revealed the dangers of microwaving your food, I thought I would go ahead and discuss another new up and coming way of cooking – Induction Stoves. I didn’t even know that there was such a thing as an induction stovetop until an acquaintance recently told me about them. She was at the home of a young couple who had just bought a new condo, equipped with a shiny, glass stovetop.

She decided to boil some water for tea and thought she was cooking on an ordinary electric stovetop until she realized that there was no heat being generated underneath the pot she was boiling water in! What??

Yours may be one of the 5-10% of American households that currently have an induction stovetop. Or perhaps you know someone who raves about how fast it heats foods up and how easy it is to clean.

Even though a small percentage of the population owns an induction range at this time, upgrades in technology and downgrades in price are making them more affordable─ and more attractive─ to families on the go. In fact, according to a survey conducted by the independent market research company Mintel in 2010, 22 percent of those polled said their next stovetop would be an induction.

I can completely understand the draw of anything that makes the daily chore of cooking easier and faster. Unfortunately, however, the jury is still out on how safe induction technology really is.

Induction Uses Electro-Magnetic Energy                                                                                                                             

The hazards of microwave ovens are well-known and documented. Like I discussed in last week’s blog, microwaving uses electromagnetic energy to agitate the water molecules in food, causing it to heat items quickly from the inside out.

induction over inside
Inside an induction stovetop. photo credit: “Induktionskochfeld Spule” by Wdwd – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons

Induction also works with electromagnetics but in a slightly different way. An induction “hob,” or ring, alternates magnetic field currents in order to heat the cooking vessel itself, not the surface below it. According to Powerwatch, “High EMFs are generated by the cooker on purpose, and these EMFs induce currents to flow in the metal pans which cause them to heat up. Most induction stove tops now use low radio frequency signals which induce currents in the pan (and people standing nearby!) more easily. As very high EMFs are generated on purpose and these extend into the user, we cannot recommend this way of cooking.”

The top of the cooker stays relatively cool and is mostly heated by contact with the hot pan. In the case of induction stovetops, these vessels must be made of “ferrous metals,” or metals that contain a magnetic charge. Iron and steel are the most common types of ferrous metals found in the kitchen; glass will not work on an induction stovetop.

Questionable Approval Standards for Induction Stovetops

While sources like Consumer Reports and even Dr. Weil strangely claim that the technology is safe for human exposure, current studies say something quite different.

A 2012 study published in the journal Bioelectromagnetics questions the way in which induction ovens were approved in the first place while bringing to light their inherent dangers.

Induction stovetops originally got the stamp of approval because they were said to comply with the standards for EMF exposure outlined by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) as long a person is standing at least one foot away from the unit. REALLY?! One foot away?

I don’t know about you, but my arms aren’t long enough to comfortably stand 1 foot away from the stove when I am cooking, especially when I am using the back burners as well!

Fortunately, the researchers from the Swiss Foundation for Research on Information Technologies in Society (IT’IS) conducted tests on individuals who were standing less than a foot away from the stove. The results were startling.

The study concluded that the majority of induction rings, or hobs, exceeded the maximum exposure levels set by ICNIRP when a person was standing less than a foot from the stove. The worst case scenario showed a 16-fold increase in exposure levels.

Of particular concern is the effect EMF exposure from induction stovetops could have on the brain tissue of children as well as on pregnant women or women of childbearing years. For children, a mere 2-fold increase (6 dB) of EMF beyond the standard is considered dangerous.

How EMF Effects You

EMF stands for Electro-Magnetic Field and is genreated by common household electronic devices such as clock radios, blow dryers, computers and cell phones.  Also called electro-pollution, exposure to too much of tis toxin has been documented in hundreds of studies to be a serious health hazard that can lead to inflammation, neurological damage, cataracts and even cancer. A 10-year study conducted by more than two dozen international acclaimed scientists called The Bio-Initiative Report examined the data and concluded that electro-pollution’s detrimental effects on the human immune system was very clear. 

Electro-pollution has been labeled the “deadliest toxin on the planet.” because you can’t see it, feel it, smell it or taste it, but it is affects you 24/7. Now the evidence is pointing to the increasingly-popular induction stovetop as being another major source of this “dirty” power in your home. Is ease and convenience worth the risk to your health and that of your family? Essential # 2 is to Reduce Your Toxic Exposure, and induction stovetops definitely fall under the category of toxic exposure.


  • Induction is not a “new up and coming way of cooking”. It has been used in Europe for many, many years. Some Americans have imported the stoves for quite sometime. It seems new because more US manufacturers are now producing and promoting them. Thank you for making us aware about the EMF issue but please amend the article with a bit of the history as to when and where induction stoves were first developed. It is far from new technology.

      • I agree with Dr. V. When these stovetops make it into apartments, we will know they are common. 🙂 I only know 1 person with this.

        It seems like there is danger in whatever we do. It pays to be informed but sometimes I long for the days of naivety!

    • Note: Dr. William Deagle measured the frequency coming off his induction stove and said it is the exact frequency that causes leukemia. Buyer Beware!

      • According to St. Jude’s Hospital for Children, leukemia is the most common cancer of children. Of those with leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia is the most common type. Each year, an estimated 3,000 children under the age of 20 are diagnosed with it.

        Going by Dr. Deagle’s so-called expert opinion, these kids must all be hanging over induction units a lot every day.

        According to the American Cancer Society: “The possible link between electromagnetic fields and cancer has been a subject of controversy for several decades. It’s not clear exactly how electromagnetic fields, a form of low-energy, non-ionizing radiation, can increase cancer risk. Plus, because we are all exposed to different amounts of these fields at different times, the issue has been hard to study.”

        Also according to the American Cancer Society: “The exact cause of most childhood leukemias is not known. Most children with leukemia do not have any known risk factors.”

        Dr. William Deagle is also a well-known conspiracy theorist who claims there are secret human colonies on Mars, attack baboons are being trained in Texas, and that there are human and non-human entities running projects to establish a new world order, among other strange and wild ideas.

        And you actually believe what this man says about induction unit frequencies causing cancer?????

        • Perhaps all these children who were diagnosed with Leukemia had mothers who cooked over these induction stove tops. I have one too, but I rarely use it as my hubby likes to cook and he has developed tumours. None of my 4 kids were ever diagnosed with leukemia, and maybe this was attributed to me not going near my induction stove top.
          Also, I have a gauss meter and when I walked near my induction stove top, the levels rose very high and the unit was not even in operation!!

          • What does “very high” mean? It makes little sense that the gauss meter would read high. And you can’t use inductive reasoning to apply your experience to the rest of the world. Glad you and the kids are healthy, but maybe your husband is simply genetically prone to “tumors.” And what kind of tumors are they? How old is he? Does he have other risks? The list goes on and on…

  • Well what is a good (or rather, the best!) option for cooking??! We currently have a glass top but we’re planning to make some changes in our kitchen later this year and I was leaning toward a gas stove.

  • Dr. V ~~ thank you so much for all the great information you are sharing. My microwave went out of the house last week! Did have a question and wanted to see what information/thoughts you had. Our electric meter recently broke and the electric company replaced it with a new digital meter. Am hearing some not so great things about them (EMF, house fires, monitoring usage, etc.). Just wondered what your thoughts were on them versus the old analog meters. Knew you would have some sound scientific information in a sea of internet mis/information. Appreciate the help and all you do! Have a brilliant day!

  • Are all stovetops with flat surfaces the induction stovetops? I have one that came with our home. It gets red hot very quickly with nothing on top of it. I have a hand held EMF detector & there was no noticeable increase when the burner was turned on.

  • I wondered your take on a couple of things:

    1) Everyone is agreed that EMF is present with induction cooktops. The discrepancy lies in the argument that with the right size pan placed on the surface and at distance of 12” the EMF levels are pretty minute.

    2) We seem to get more from our vacuum’s and blenders…do you use those? I’m asking seriously as I am truly trying to understand your point of view on the topic. I have a family that I am trying to do the right thing by. Is it just that you don’t prefer induction as it adds one more layer of EMF?

  • The real problem with Induction cooktops is you have to go out and buy $5 million worth of new pots because nothing is compatible. They are complete garbage and a crazy idea. They use them all over uncivilized and backwards Europe. Thank God Almighty we have proper gas stoves in the states. I hate these things so much. Nothing like a good flame.

  • I prefer to cook in ceramic or glass, because metal can react with food. As a trained chef, I prefer gas flame to cook on. EMF is a subject that seems controversial, but I’m throughly convinced of its dangers, and don’t use any wireless technologies. Microwave weapons towers are proliferating everywhere, and now with the “5G” millimeter wave antennae, the danger is increasing. For those who think this is fear mongering, and cite “science” as proof EMF radiation is safe: I think their “science” is bunk. Those who continue ignoring the obvious dangers to their own peril are ignorant imho, but it’s their life – we must all think for ourselves. Always think for yourself and question your assumptions. I can find “science” articles that claim smart meters are safe, but most “science” is faith based. I call it the religion of “scientism”. You can get vaccinated if you want, but I will never allow an allopathic fascist to inject me with toxic serums with unknown ingredients…

    • I share your approach. For lack of all causes of cancer being known with 100% confidence, take all sensible precautions.

      I am considering cooktops now and if going gas, will ensure I have good ventilation to take care of the carbon monoxide.

      As for induction cooktops – another variable not mentioned here is that if the pot or pan is smaller than the heating element, ‘stray’ emissions will be much greater. Emissions for induction cooktops are around 20-100 kHz whereas the microwave and the cellphone are in the higher microwave frequency range 300 MHz – 300 GHz. As such, I believe the risks to be different. If you use an induction cooktop, I recommend having a nice thick insulating pad under your feet (Such as Imprint Comfort Mats) and to not touch metal in proximity to it when operating.

      Or you can ignore all this, but like our chef friend above, I too eliminate sources of transmission where I can sensibly.

  • More importantly, we ought to be looking directly at how does it affect the food that we cooked this way, with induction, that we are putting directly into our bodies?