Radiation in appliances

Electromagnetic fields from home, school and office equipment

There are electric and magnetic fields in the vicinity of electrical appliances and wires in the home, school and office. Due to their low voltage, the electric fields are weak. Electrical appliances create a magnetic field in their vicinity, which becomes weaker very quickly as the distance increases. Homes, schools and offices also have electrical appliances that emit microwaves. These include, for example, mobile phones, wireless local area network (WLAN) devices, computers and smart meters. The modern household appliances such as refrigerators and dishwashers can have a WLAN transmitter and receiver. It connects the home appliance to a computer network, the so-called Internet of Things (IoT). Due to the low transmission power, the microwaves of these devices are weak and deteriorate rapidly as you move away from the device.  
There is no health risk from electromagnetic fields from home, school and office equipment.

Devices using optical radiation

Optical radiation includes ultraviolet (UV) radiation, visible light and infrared radiation.

Ultrasound devices

Ultrasound passes through the body weakly without direct skin contact. Without skin contact, the sound pressure experienced by the person is usually not high and the devices are not dangerous for the person. Devices of this type can be found in many consumer products (e.g. ultrasonic washers, repellents and air flow controllers). In general, it can be said that such devices are safe to use as long as you are not within arm’s reach of the ultrasonic transmitter of the device. However, consumers should follow the instructions for use of the device. For example, ultrasonic washers can cause so high sound pressure in the fluid they use that parts of the human body should not be exposed to that. 

Consumer products in direct skin contact include, for example, ultrasonic toothbrushes. They are usually battery-powered and use little power. This means that the sound pressure is also so low that it does not cause adverse health effects.

Ultrasound may also be used in beauty care applications. These devices are usually in direct skin contact, and ultrasound passes more easily through the body. For this reason, the sound pressure levels caused by devices and treatments using ultrasound must be known in more detail in order to avoid adverse health effects.

Read more on radiation in beauty care 

In health care, ultrasound devices have been used in imaging and treatments for decades. For example, foetal imaging is an important part of pregnancy monitoring. Imaging is safe but, for example, performing 3D and 4D foetal ultrasounds only to take videos for memories should be avoided as a precaution.

Fire alarms

Fire alarms use optical radiation or ionising radiation produced by radioactive substances. These are trapped inside the fire alarms and therefore do not pose a health hazard. Some detectors can be connected wirelessly to a WLAN, emitting weak microwaves. They have no adverse health effects.

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