Saunas and EMFs: Should You Be Worried?

Kira Poletis Kira Poletis
3 minute read

Concerns about EMF radiation raises concerns for many of us in today’s technological world, and the worries don’t stop when you’re planning for your own home sauna. Although the effects of saunas and EMFs are currently still being researched, opting for a low EMF infrared sauna is a wise investment.


Breaking Down EMFs

EMFs, or electromagnetic fields, are a type of non-ionizing radiation that is emitted by electrical and electronic devices. EMFs are measured in units of gauss (G) or milligauss (mG) and can be classified as extremely low frequency (ELF) or radiofrequency (RF) EMFs. Things like power lines, appliances, and other electrical devices emit ELF EMFs. RF EMFs are emitted by wireless communication devices, like cell phones and Wi-Fi routers.

Because of the electrical heating elements in saunas, EMFs can also be emitted, which isn’t really something you want to be worrying about when you’re trying to destress and focus on the healing properties of your sauna.

A Finnish study found that the EMF levels in traditional saunas ranged from 2 to 80 mG, with an average of 8.9 mG.


EMFs in Infrared Saunas

Infrared saunas are a popular choice among practitioners due to the radiant heat that can penetrate deeper into the body compared to traditional dry saunas, and EMFs in infrared saunas are generally lower than those of traditional dry saunas.

This is due to the ceramic or carbon heating elements in infrared saunas, which generate less EMFs than electric or gas-powered heating elements. Many manufacturers are also specifically designing their infrared saunas with EMF shielding materials to reduce exposure.

While different manufacturers claim different levels of EMFs in their saunas, a study by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority found that all infrared saunas emit some level of EMFs, with levels typically ranging from 0.6 mG to 5 mG.

The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection has set guidelines for exposure to EMFs, with a recommended maximum exposure limit of 1000 mG for ELF EMFs and a limit of 2000 mG for RF EMFs. The levels in saunas are much lower than these guidelines, while the exposure time is up to the individual sauna session.


To Sauna or Not to Sauna

While EMF levels vary depending on the type and design of the sauna, levels in infrared saunas are much lower than the recommended exposure limit. While these levels are generally considered safe for everyone, it’s important to take a cautionary approach to EMF sauna exposure. By doing your own research and investing in a sauna that is rated with low levels and secured with EMF shielding, you can continue to enjoy the many health benefits of saunas without unnecessary health risks.

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