low emf sauna

Safe Waves: Unveiling the Truth About EMF Levels in Infrared Saunas | Feature Article

By

Alex Tyson

Understanding what EMFs are and how they can affect the body can play an important part in the decision making process when choosing an infrared sauna.

Back-in-the-day when infrared saunas were new to the market, EMF used to be a defining feature separating good quality and bad quality infrared saunas. Nowadays however, the EMF problem has been mostly solved across the industry: the majority of infrared saunas being sold are now low EMF… or Ultra Low… or extremely low… we’ll get to the title’s later.

This article serves however to unpack EMF further and so that you understand EMF on a practical level. Not just in the context of sauna, but in the context of every day life.

Electromagnetic Fields and Extremely Low Frequencies

Often times there are two acronyms used in this discussion.

EMF stands for Electromagnetic Fields and ELF stands for Extremely Low Frequency electric fields.

EMF is typically measured in milliGause (mG)

ELF is measured in milliVolts per meter (mV/m)

Both are forms of frequencies emitted by electricity. That which we cannot see and typically cannot feel in the immediate, although as we will discover later, there are effects of these frequencies that we can notice over time.

EMF’s are created when current flows through a wire – when the device is turned on.

ELF’s can be present even when current is not flowing – when the device is off as well as on.

If it’s not already confusing, the term EMF is now used in a more generalised sense, used for many forms of radiation, not just electrical radiation. You may hear people refer to wifi, bluetooth or a 5g telecommunication towers as an EMF emitting device. In some cases these devices emit magnetic field radiation, however they predominantly emit radio frequencies. A modern wifi router for example emits 2.4GHz and/or 5GHz radio frequency, all which are now generalised and called ‘EMF’.

How can EMF effect the body?

EMF’s are a form of ionising radiation. This isn’t a fundamentally bad thing, however when exposed to high levels of ionising radiation for a long period of time, ionising radiation can change the electric charge of cells which can result in symptoms such as feelings of fatigue, dizziness, headaches or brain fog. Chronic exposure over months and years can lead to more serious health issues.

The body can however mitigate ionising radiation in lower, short doses.

What makes EMF harmful?

Proximity

The further you are away from the source, the less EMF receive. ELF acts slightly different as ELF travels via conductors like water. So in dry environments, the ELF levels will fall off quicker than humid environments.

Duration

Duration plays a pivotal role in the effect EMF’s can have on the body. By increasing the duration exposed to the field, the field has more time to ionise and damage our cells.

Horrible right? Well, kind of.

For context, a typical example of chronic levels of EMF radiation is when a bed is situated in the location of an electric field. There might be powerpoint next to the bed head which exposes the head to high levels of electric fields of 1000V/m for 7 – 10 hours per day. This is considered long duration, as you are exposed for hours, every single day, day-after-day. A low dose of EMF for a period of 30 minutes is not a long exposure.

Another example may be working right next to a wifi router emitting 2.4GHz or 5GHz frequency 5 days per week. Over time this will increase your exposure significantly.

If the duration is however much shorter, say 10 minutes at 100mG. The likelihood of the field having a detrimental effect is drastically reduced.

There are people who are hyper-sensitive to EMF’s and can feel the effects of even a short duration, low dose exposure.

What are safe levels of EMFs?

Defining a safe exposure amount can difficult. It seems that no authority, be it government, health expert, bio-hacker or influencer can agree.

According to the WHO, exposures under 5,000mG are considered safe. According to wellbeing guru Brian Hoyer any exposure is unsafe.

Testing authority Vitatech —who certifies the well known American infrared sauna companies as well as Found—Space— recommend keeping exposure of ELF under 5,000 V/m and EMF under 12.57 mG.

There are many guidelines out there which provide a wide recommendation range of safe exposure limits.

In the world we live in today, it’s realistic to accept we will be exposed to some level of EMF in one form or another.

Below are some images showing the magnetic field or electric field exposure from everyday household and workplace items.


Dyson Vacuum 43.2 mG


Macbook Pro 305 V/m – Sitting distance


Apple Keyboard 257 V/m


Outside open air under standard street powerlines 25.2mG


iPhone 15 unlocked 9mG


Beats Headphones – not in use 7.6mG

EMF’s are everywhere. In most cases, it can be unrealistic to try and avoid them completely. The conversation turns more toward doing what you can to avoid them in places you spend a lot of time, and then looking to mitigate and shield what is there.

A few tips to reducing EMF levels in your life – take it as far as you like:

-Move the bed head away from power points and turn power points off when you sleep. Although turning off doesn’t help with ELF’s – so distance is required
-Don’t charge devices in bedroom overnight and turn all mobile devices on aeroplane mode.
-Turn wifi off overnight
-Consider EMF shielded clothing – No Choice is a quality American brand
-Don’t use a microwave
-Avoid using bluetooth headphones
-Don’t live near powerlines
-Avoid 5g towers
-Reduce the use of Wifi

Do what is practical. It can become an endless rabbit warren trying to live without EMF exposure. Trust me, I’ve tried. If you want to learn more about EMF mitigation Found—Space hosted a podcast with low-tox living expert Nicole Bijlsma. You can listen to it here

Importantly, it’s about reducing the amount of exposure and the duration of exposure. A short exposure to 5,000mG may not be harmful, however a chronic day-after-day exposure to 60mG could be.

Found—Space Infrared Sauna EMF Levels

We test our saunas from the closest point the body can sit with respect to the heater.

found space emf results

2024 Lite & Nyssa: Measured at 15mm from heater surface. We developed our CF-3 heater which has been independently verified by Vitatech USA to emit 1.22mG on average across the heater. Our lowest EMF heater ever. View full report here.

 


2024 Nu-a 9.0mG @ 45mm from heater surface


2024 Barrel: 9.8mG @ 55mm from heater surface

Comparing EMF results

Make sure you’re comparing EMF results with EMF results.

The challenge is, most companies take the result from a different location, usually a location that gives them a good result. So you might be looking at two reports which are taken from different locations. Both may show similar results, however one may have much lower levels.

Found—Space measure from as close as you can sit to the heater. 

Difference between Ultra Low, Near Zero, Extremely Low and Low EMF heaters.

Nothing, it’s marketing jargon.

Analogue Full Spectrum heater EMF levels

There are no red light emitting full spectrum heaters on the market which have levels lower than 8mG. Other brands claim the sauna is low EMF, but they’re referencing the far infrared heaters on the wall, not the full spectrum heaters they mount as an add on. If you ask them to show an independant report on the full spectrum heaters like the rest of their heaters, they can’t. All full spectrum heaters which emit red light are between 8mG – 20mG depending how close you are.

A Summary of EMFs

Ultimately if you want to achieve a higher state of wellbeing, having an awareness of EMF’s can be helpful.

Your willingness to act on EMF’s is a personal choice. Where it sits in your wellbeing priority list against your nutrition, exercise, sleep, sunlight, environment, sex life and community is a question only you can answer.

I hope this article has answered some of your deeper questions surrounding EMF’s so that you can now decide for yourself.

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