Ionic hair dryers have become all the rage. They promise to cut drying time by almost half while producing a frizz-free, sleek ,and polished look. All without the heat damage of traditional hair dryers!
With growing concerns surrounding the output of EMF, or electromagnetic fields, by common electrical devices, people are questioning the safety of ionic hair dryers.
While most researchers don’t believe most EMFs are dangerous, some scientists question the safety of EMF exposure. Should you be worried?
In this article, we are going to look at ionic hair dryer dangers. We will attempt to demystify EMFs and look at how they relate to common household electronics, including various types of hair dryers.
Understanding Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs)
Electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) are produced anywhere electricity is used, including at home and in the workplace.
All of the electronic devices we use, from microwaves, cell phones, electric razors, and stereos to Wi-Fi routers, computers, laptops, and tablets, all emit an electromagnetic field.
This also holds true for ionic (as well as regular) hair dryers.
EMFs are generally classified into 2 categories – High-frequency EMFs and low-frequency EMFs.
High-frequency EMFs, or ionizing radiation, is emitted in low levels by things like X-Ray machines and CT scanners. Technicians who operate these devices usually work from another room or area.
Repeated exposure to even low levels of ionizing radiation from conducting these scans is dangerous.
Other sources of high-frequency EMFs include gamma radiation from radioactive elements and UV radiation from either tanning beds or the sun.
High-frequency EMFs have a short wavelength and higher frequency waves. These waves can penetrate the body. This can be good, in the case of getting a dental x-ray. But this can be bad if you’re being exposed to unnecessary radiation!
This type of radiation exposure can result in DNA and cell damage, as well as cancer.
Because it’s called “ionizing” radiation, it’s easy to see why people might get confused and worry that ionizing hair dryers emit dangerous high frequency EMFs. They don’t emit high frequency EMFs. They emit low frequency EMFs.
Low frequency EMFs, on the other hand, are electrical devices we use every day. These wavelengths are non-ionizing radiation and can be generated by a variety of sources, including power lines, electrical wiring, household appliances, and portable devices.
Low frequency EMFs are generally considered to be safe.
While most researchers don’t believe low levels of low-frequency EMFs are dangerous, there are some studies that question the safety of long-term exposure.
Ionic Hair Dryer Dangers
Dr. David Carpenter, a Dean at the School of Public Health at the State University of New York, is among those questioning the safety of long-term exposure to low-frequency EMFs, particularly in children.
He has stated that he believes that up to 30 percent of all childhood cancers come from exposure to EMFs.
Dr. Carpenter also specifically singles out ionic hair dryers, saying they can produce an electromagnetic field as high as 200 to 400 Gauss, (units measured by a Gauss meter, which measures the strength of magnetic fields), a level that he believes could potentially cause cancer in children.
Dr. Carpenter’s thoughts have been well circulated and are among the most popularly quoted when looking up information online with regards to ionic hair dryers. This is particulrly true on those websites which are selling or promoting “low EMF” hair dryers.
That having been said, from what we’ve been able to find, the normal EMF output of a hairdryer is from 35 mG – 100 mG (milliGauss).
European scientists have also uncovered a possible link between EMF and leukemia in children in a literature review of previous studies. However, their findings suggested the numbers of childhood leukemia that may possibly be linked to low-frequency EMF were 1.5 to 2 percent (a far cry from the 30% Dr. Carpenter suggests).
It was also noted that their results were inconclusive because monitoring of EMF was lacking. They recommended more research and better monitoring.
And though it is still widely accepted by the scientific community that exposure to low levels of low-frequency EMFs are safe, the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, warns that there is a “reason for concern” and efforts should be taken to reduce exposure, especially in young children.
The US Food and Drug Administration, has also noted that small children should avoid these electromagnetic fields.
Low EMF hair dryers
To address the growing concerns of the possible dangers of EMF exposure, you can now find Low EMF hair dryers.
All hair dryers emit low-frequency EMFs. Ionic, tourmaline, ceramic, infrared, and traditional hair dryers all do. So do all of the electrical other appliances and devices we come into contact with every day.
There is widespread debate as to the health risks of low-frequency EMFs. Research is still ongoing, but the results of studies to date that show possible health risks of exposure to low-frequency EMF have been inconclusive at best.
Regardless, there is a growing concern.
The World Health Organization (WHO) puts things into perspective by stating: “…that a collection of studies with weak positive results, which however are inconsistent among each other, has scientists divided about the significance of the data. However, most of the scientific community agrees that any health effects of low-level electromagnetic fields, if they exist at all, are likely to be very small compared to other health risks that people face in everyday life.”
No matter what we do, even if it is to sit at home and do nothing, is a risk. That’s just how life works.
With research into low-frequency EMF still ongoing, and through exposure to low levels of low-frequency EMFs is still being deemed safe for adults, studies (although inconclusive) are causing a growing concern that young children may be potentially more susceptible to low-frequency EMFs.
If this is a concern for you, you can opt for a low EMF hair dryer.