When you go for buying infrared heater or even any heater many question comes into your mind. Like, are infrared heaters safe to leave on overnight? Do electric heaters cause cancer? dangers of infrared heaters and many more questions. We answer all your concern question in article below give it a read.
Cancer has become a menace in today’s world. People are worried (and rightly so) about any eatable or appliance causing this horrific disease. With the increasing use of heaters, the apprehensions about their link with cancer are also on the rise.
Infrared heaters face the same skepticism as people tend to believe that since they emit infrared radiation, they might cause cancer. In this article, we are going to present information based on scientific reasoning that will reveal the facts about this myth.
Read on: How Infrared Heater Works
The Misconception About Infrared Radiation
Most people believe that infrared radiation can cause cancer, which started when people started confusing it with ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The sun emits both infrared and ultraviolet rays, though UV rays are more dangerous of the two. Ever since the hazards of ultraviolet rays became well-known and it was discovered that over-exposure to these rays can cause the growth of cancerous cells, people developed a common fear about sun rays in general.
The fact, however, is that UV is the real culprit. These rays cause skin cancer and damage to the eyes if the sun is viewed directly. Studies have proven that infrared radiation is more of a boon than a bane, as it is so commonly misunderstood.
Infrared Heaters Generate Sun-Like Heat
Every one of us knows that the most natural heating source is the sun. The sun generates infrared waves, so the human skin is naturally designed to receive infrared heat waves radiated by the sun. Infrared heat does not have a high frequency like ultraviolet rays and X-rays, which are known to cause cancer. Hence, infrared heaters are a safe source of heat.
The infrared heat generated by these heaters does not warm the air in the room and since air is not heated, the humidity of the room remains intact. This humidity helps mitigate the suffering of people with asthma and allergies.
Plus, most bacteria can’t survive in a room that has a humidity of 30-40%. Hence, an infrared heater facilitates in the elimination of bacteria unlike convection heaters, which make a room dry enough to facilitate the survival of these microorganisms.
Infrared Radiation Is Not Ionizing
There are certain limits up to which radiations are considered safe for the health and do not pose any risk. The level of radiation that is harmful for our health is called ionizing radiation and can cause cancer. X-rays and ultraviolet rays are ionizing, but infrared rays are below the ionizing radiation level.
There are three types of infrared radiations, which differ from each other on the basis of their relative wavelengths. These are:
- Near-infrared (wavelength of 700-810 nanometers)
- Mid-infrared (wavelength of 810-3,000 nanometers)
- Far-infrared (wavelength of 3,000-100,000 nanometers)
The International Commission on Non-Ionization Radiation Protection conducted a study in 2006 and confirmed that skin cancer cannot be caused by exposure to infrared radiation due to its non-ionizing property.
Can Infrared Heaters Cause Indoor Air Pollution?
While infrared heaters cannot cause cancer, it is also important to know whether it can pollute the indoor air. Indoor pollution is more dangerous than outdoor pollution as people spend most of their time inside the house. The lack of awareness about indoor pollution is also an important factor as most people are ignorant of the health hazards caused by indoor pollution.
There are two types of infrared heaters: electric and gas. Electric heaters convert electrical energy into heat energy by using coils that are good conductors, which does not result in any pollution.
Most heaters that use fuel (wood/gas/kerosene) can cause indoor pollution by emitting carcinogenic pollutants. However, a gas infrared heater uses gas in steel tubes/panels only to produce electromagnetic radiation. Thus, unlike other gas heaters, the infrared heater does not emit any carcinogenic pollutant and does not pollute the air.
Infrared heaters also do not produce carbon monoxide, greenhouse gases or any other toxic gases.
Medical Applications of Infrared Radiation
Infrared radiation is actually thought to be so safe that these rays are used today to cure many types of cancers. The far-infrared radiation can target cancerous cells in the body systematically and cause a marked reduction or even a complete halt in their growth. This is done thanks to the infrared radiation ability to increase the temperature of the target tissues aided by its capability to penetrate deeply.
Infrared radiation is also used to activate biomedical devices so that a drug can be released in the target area in the human body.
Studies have also shown that infrared light therapy can reduce blood glucose level by reducing insulin resistance. It can also improve blood vessel function and increase circulation. Photodynamic therapy uses infrared radiation and can kill up to 90% of cancerous cells, making it a viable cancer treatment.
Types of Infrared Heaters: Range of Low and High Intensity Units
Ever since infrared heaters came into being, people have been doubting its efficacy and fearing the health hazards it can cause, especially cancer. Scientific evidence, however, proves otherwise. They are more beneficial than dangerous.
The entire problem arose by equating infrared (IR) with ultraviolet (UV). While UV can cause cancer if human beings are exposed to it for a long period, IR is medically used to mitigate pain and trauma associated with cancer. Hence, infrared heaters do not cause cancer and any belief otherwise is based on fiction rather than fact.