Safe Cooking: Are Induction Hobs Safe?
Today, it is estimated that 5-10% of UK households currently have an induction stovetop. The technology is gaining tremendous popularity among families on the go for how easier, faster and easy it is to clean. While it is still only a small percentage of the population that owns an induction range at this time, advancements in technology and downgrades in prices are making them more affordable-and more attractive-in today’s face paced life. In fact, a survey piloted by the independent market research company Mintel in the year 2010 reported that 22 percent of those polled in the survey said their next stovetop would be an induction.
Since the induction stovetop is entering the domestic scene at a fast rate, more and more consumers are asking a pivotal question; are induction hobs safe?
Think of the microwave: it utilizes electromagnetic energy to disturb water molecules in food, causing it to heat stuff quickly from the inside out.
With a slight difference, induction cooking operates in a similar way. An induction stove interchanges magnetic field currents in order to heat the pot or pan itself, but not the surface below it. For induction stovetops, cookware vessels must be made of ferrous metals such as iron and steel, which are the most common types found in most domestic kitchens.
During the induction cooking process, the top of the cooker remains cool and is typically heated by coming into contact with the pot or pan.
This phenomenon makes it possible for you to place your palm over an portable electric hob whilst an egg is cooking without getting burned.
This is an especially beneficial feature for those who have small children in the household. The induction cook-top can give you the peace of mind of knowing that the stove is one less safety hazard to worry about with regards to the children.
For people with special needs, induction is by far the superior technology in terms of both safety and convenience. Unlike gas or electric cooking equipment, induction units are usually thin in the vertical, typically needing less than two inches of depth beneath the countertop surface. This makes it simple and more convenient for cooking areas that are designed to allow wheelchair access.
For those concerned with toxicity, compared to the gas cook-top alternative, the induction hob has the advantage. With gas cooking, some of the products of combustion and the unburned gas itself in gas stove-tops are highly toxic. While we now require gas tanks to be sealed from the room, with both chimney and air intake directly connected to the outside air, the air that is inhaled is never truly pure.
There re some specific as of safety concerns with induction cooking. These may include current leakage, current output, and more recently there have been concerns about using induction cook tops with cardiac and other implanted electronic medical devices as well as pregnancy.
1. Induction cooking leakage currents
When a pan is placed over a cooking zone it combines with the induction coil to form a capacitor. As soon as the induction coil is switched on, the saucepan is electrically charged. This means that if the pan were to be touched, a small current may flow through the body of the person touching it. This is known as a leakage current.
2. Induction hob current output
Typically, home appliances have 4 cooking zones with numerous outputs, varying between 1200 and 3600 watts. The total output of these combined units typically averages around 7500 Watts. By operating the cooking zones for a short period at increased output, known as “power” or “booster” functions, the cooking or heating process can be sped up significantly. This is generally a very safe feature to use, provided that it is used for a shorter periods at a time.
3. Cardiac and other implanted electronic medical devices
According to studies done on the effects of induction cooking on cardiac implants or pacemakers, pacemakers do not interfere with the induction cooking unit of an induction hob. Although, some concerns over the safety of induction cooking on the functioning of cardiac implants has been noted. This is especially a concern if an implanted pacemaker is left-sided and unipolar and also if the pacemaker’s bloke is standing near to the cook-top where a pan is not seated concentrically on the induction coil.
Induction cooking uses low frequency electromagnetic radiation. The low frequency electromagnetic radiation from induction cooking devices ought not to have any detrimental effect on anyone; this includes pregnant women as well as children. Food cooked on an induction range will also have any chemical difference to food cooked by other means.
Although they have been under misdirected fire for apparent radiation risks, the truth is that induction hobs generate a very low rate radiation, similar to that of microwave radio frequency. They have even been shown to reduce to zero at a distance of about a few inches to approximately one foot away from the source.
With that said, the choice always comes down to your individual needs and weighing in on whether the many benefits of induction cooking are enough to take the final plunge.