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Infrared heaters are becoming popular day by day, thanks to their ability to provide warmth in cold weather and cut heating costs. More notably, they create comfortable heat by emitting infrared radiation. Unfortunately, some people have doubted its efficacy and fear that it may cause health hazards, such as cancer, But, can infrared heaters cause cancer?
According to scientific evidence, the answer is simply No. However, it’s good to analyze the effects of IR heaters and how they affect your body. In addition, I’ll look at whether infrared heaters pose any health risk to your body so that you can be well informed if you’re thinking about buying one for your home!
Why do some people think IR heaters can cause cancer?
The misconception that Infrared radiation can cause cancer started when some people mistook it for UV radiation. As you know, the sun emits both UV rays and IR rays. To be precise, the sun emits 3 types of electromagnetic radiation, sunlight, IR rays, and UV rays.
UV-rays are harmful radiation that can promote the growth of cancer cells. At the same time, excessive exposure to these rays can lead to skin and retina damage. These factors make people think that infrared heaters have the same effect as UV radiation.
However, that’s not the case, since Infrared radiation is completely different from Ultraviolet radiation. In fact, scientific studies have demonstrated that infrared radiation is a safe source of heat.
Here’s why IR heaters don’t cause cancer!
To start, IR radiation doesn’t have high frequencies like X-rays and UV rays that are known to cause cancer. Instead, our skin is naturally designed to receive IR heat waves produced by the sun. More importantly, Infrared radiation is responsible for the warmth we feel from the sun, which is a natural heat source.
Besides, IR radiation isn’t ionizing. By definition, ionizing radiation refers to the level of radiation that poses any health risk to our bodies. IR rays are below the ionizing level of radiation and are therefore considered safe for our health, but UV and X-rays are ionizing.
IR rays can be classified into 3 categories; near-infrared, mid-infrared, and far-infrared. These types of IR rays differ from each other in terms of their relative wavelengths. For instance, far-infrared rays have a wavelength of 3k – 10k nanometers, mid-infrared 810 – 3k nanometers, and near-infrared 700 – 810 nanometers.
According to 2016 research conducted by the International Commission on Non-Ionization Rays Protection, being exposed to Infrared radiation cannot cause skin cancer because of its non-ionizing property.
On top of that, infrared radiation is linked to a lot of other health benefits!
Health benefits of IR Heaters
One major benefit of infrared heaters is that they prevent the formation of molds on the wall since they heat the walls directly, keeping them dry. Mold has been linked to various health issues including headaches, laxity, eczema, joint problems, throat & mucous membrane irritation, and respiratory disease.
Do infrared heaters dry out the air? Unlike traditional heaters, infrared heaters don’t emit dry heat. Instead, they warm the surfaces of objects and people in the room without drying out the air. This helps to prevent uncomfortable side effects like throat irritation and itchy eyes.
In addition, infrared heating ensures that the room’s humidity level isn’t affected since IR hearts do not heat the air. Dry air can lead to various problems like drying out the mucous membrane, making you more susceptible to bacteria and viruses. At the same time, dry air can cause headaches or make you feel sluggish.
Similar to other sources of heat like baseboard heating, infrared heaters ensure that there is no dust circulation in the room. This makes the room more comfortable for anyone suffering from allergies. At the same time, they reduce air circulation, thus minimizing the chances of airborne diseases.
As for indoor air quality, infrared heaters don’t produce any smoke, toxin, or fumes as by-products during the heating process. This makes them ideal for household uses since they don’t produce any odor. Better yet, even the gas-powered infrared heaters only produce electromagnetic radiation, unlike other gas heaters. Therefore, they’ll not pollute the air or emit carcinogenic pollutants or greenhouse gasses.
Lastly, Infrared heaters provide the same effect as the sun in terms of heat. Specifically, infrared radiation penetrates the deep skin layers, heating up our bodies. As a result, our blood vessels expand, encouraging blood circulation and metabolism.
Final Words: Does an Infrared heater cause cancer?
As more homeowners continue to buy the best infrared heaters for their homes or outdoor patios, some dispute that they might cause cancer. However, scientific proof shows that these heating units do more good than harm. For instance, they don’t dry the air, cause air circulation or emit any harmful compounds.
Instead, they emit safe far-infrared radiation that will improve your health and air quality. Best of all, they emit a comfortable warmth that is similar to the heat we feel from the sun, without the harmful UV rays! More importantly, Infrared heaters do not cause any form of retinal or skin cancer.