One of the key factors, when you decide to buy an infrared sauna, is the EMF level. Now, when you look at sauna advertising, you will see that a lot of manufacturers claim to make low-EMF saunas.
EMF stands for electromagnetic field which is all around us because of the many devices in our life. While it is not immediately life threatening (like gamma radiation) we must always try to limit our exposure to EMF. Using a sauna with low EMF is one way to do that.
But What Is EMF and How Does It Affect Us?
It is found in nature when electric charge in the air goes up, like when thunderstorms occur. If we were only ever exposed to that, it would’ve been great but devices like cell phones, kitchen appliances, computers and televisions, etc. all emit EMF in a tolerable range. And this could be dangerous to our health.
In a limited capacity, some studies have said that it causes cancer, stress, fatigue and possibly even infertility. The closer you are to the heater, the greater the exposure and hence the risk.
Now, some infrared sauna makers have created saunas that use minimum EMF so that you get the health benefits without risking your life.
The level of exposure that is considered safe for human exposure, according to the Environment Protection Agency or EPA in the US is under 3 mG. Infrared saunas are often thoroughly tested by independent parties to get clearance certificates for low EMF levels. This testing is done by measuring EMF levels from different distances. We will look at what the levels are like in a good IR sauna in just a minute.
What Are VOCs and What Is Their Role in an Infrared Sauna?
The second safety consideration in infrared saunas is about VOC. This is another aspect you will see sauna manufacturers boast about. VOC stands for volatile organic compounds. This depends on the raw materials with which a sauna is made.
Many of the bigger saunas are made of wood. When a manufacturer uses plywood or engineered wood composites, it is less expensive. But these materials aren’t the safest because they can release harmful volatile organic compounds like formaldehyde in the form of gas which can be bad for your health in the long run.
According to the Environment Protection Agency, formaldehyde is a Group B1 element which is a probable human carcinogen. So the risk of cancer is real if you get a sauna made of one of these woods.
In fact, cheap heaters and some other components are also capable of releasing such harmful chemicals making your sauna sessions a bane. Ideally, the manufacturer must give you reports from an independent tester declaring that their sauna has been tested for VOCs.
Now let’s look at a few infrared saunas that meet these criteria.
Radiant Health Saunas
If your aim is to buy a sauna with the lowest EMF in the market, this is the one. These saunas have ultra-low electromagnetic fields when compared to the other IR saunas in the industry. The electric and magnetic fields in Radiant Health saunas are mitigated well and there is no radio frequency either. RH has one line of infrared saunas called the Elite series which has one to four-person saunas. They are all made of Canadian hemlock. They are made of biodegradable wood which looks great and are easy to maintain too. Now to the main part. These saunas are made of completely non-toxic raw materials and have been independently tested to show no VOCs at all. The EMF levels are also extremely low averaging at 0.3 mG at the point of body contact.
This company has two lines: Sanctuary and Premier. They offer near, mid and far-infrared saunas. The Sanctuary series saunas are made of eco-certified western red Canadian cedar and North American basswood. These are low-EMF saunas and come with medical grade chromotherapy. They have their own patented heating technology called True Wave which emits low levels of electromagnetic field. They also use ELF shielding which helps stop low EMF by creating a second field in the opposite direction. So this is extra safe.
Similarly, the Premier series saunas are also made of eco-friendly western red Canadian cedar or North American basswood. They also use True Wave technology so that the far-infrared heaters emit low-EMF levels.
High Tech Saunas
This company’s Transcend series is the champion of far-infrared saunas. And they are all about safety which is just such good news. They have their own patented heating technology which mitigates magnetic fields, electric fields and radiofrequency.
This has been independently tested and proven to be ultra-low total EMF. It is made of poplar wood or hemlock which is non-toxic and not-outgassing and also uses solvent-free wood glue. Told you they are all about safety. They are even certified to Europe’s Restriction on Hazardous Substances (RoHS). This is good stuff, people.
EMF levels and VOCs are not something to play around with. In fact, you must learn as much as you can about electric and magnetic fields so that when you look at the specifications (which are deliberately in excruciating detail sometimes) you know what the manufacturer is trying to do.
It’s almost always one of two things—help you or overload to confuse you. If you can tell the difference you will end up with a truly great product in the house. Good luck and happy health.