Wireless technology has come a long way in recent years, and while it might feel like we’re living in the future, it’s worth knowing that this technology is not as pristine and perfect as it might at first seem. As we learn more about the potential dangers of RF and EMF radiation, we’re slowly coming to understand that the next-gen technology we’ve been buying into could very well be a danger in disguise.
With that in mind, this week we’re going to take a deep dive into wireless charging, what it is, and how it could be affecting your health. Make sure to stick around to the end, where we’ll also be giving some key tips on keeping yourself and your loved ones safe.
Table of Contents
What Is Wireless Charging?
Before we get into it, let’s start by tackling two simple questions: what wireless charging is, and how it’s gained such popularity.
Wireless charging is a process by which devices such as smartphones, smartwatches, headphones, and just about anything with a battery in it can be charged without the need for a cable.
It’s a flashy new piece of tech and, to be fair, it does have a few practical benefits:
- No need to keep track of different chargers
- No mess of tangled wires
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Less chance of electrical faults leading it fires
- Easy to build into other objects or devices
That being said, for reasons that will be made clear later, devices and objects such as lamps and desks with wireless chargers built-in can be far more problematic than they initially seem.
As for why wireless charging is so popular, that’s a matter of consumer trends. Generally speaking, convenience is one of the biggest drivers in modern tech trends and not having to plug anything in is definitely more convenient for the average user.
But, as we all learn at some point in our lives, just because something is easier, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better.
How Does Wireless Charging Work?
In order to understand the risks of wireless charging, it’s first important to have an idea of how it works. Put simply, the technology for wireless charging operates using a principle called induction charging.
What does this mean?
Well, in layman’s terms, induction charging is when the charging pad emits a small, magnetic field which a battery reacts to. There are a series of springs in a pad and a series of springs in the battery. The electricity from the wall passes into the charging pad, through the magnetic field, and on into your phone or other device.
Yes, that’s right – a magnetic field. That certainly sounds an awful lot like EMF radiation, doesn’t it?
Does Wireless Charging Emit EMF?
Yes. Absolutely. 100% and without a doubt.
All wireless charging pads emit electromagnetic radiation. As a matter of fact, all wireless devices emit EMF radiation – that’s how they transmit information!
In this case, the only difference is that instead of information, what’s being transmitted is energy, but in a very general sense, the principle is the same.
If you take one thing away from this article, remember this: wireless means EMF. Whether it’s a phone call from your mobile or the WiFi in your house, two devices connected without a cable are always sending an electromagnetic signal through the air.
Should You Be Worried About The Dangers Of Electro-Magnetic Field Radiation?
If you’ve read more than a few articles on this site, then you’re probably already aware of the potential risks of EMF radiation, but for those of you who might be new to the topic, this is where you’ll probably be wanting a quick primer. For the specifics about wireless charging, feel free to skip ahead to the next section.
Many modern devices emit EMF radiation, though exactly how much is not always clear. What’s also not always clear is how dangerous that EMF radiation can be to human beings.
In essence, there is definitely some evidence to show that EMF radiation can cause or worsen a variety of serious health conditions, but the WHO (world health organisation) are hesitant to brand EMF as a major health concern.
Why is this?
Well, they say this is because more research needs to be done. This is definitely true though it may not reflect the whole of the truth. Indeed, many independent commentators have suggested that if the scientific community were to brand EMF radiation a serious concern then this could spell trouble to big-tech corporations. Is it possible that researchers are biased?
We don’t want to get too far into the controversy right now but suffice it to say that many people have worries about the EMF radiation that their devices emit. That’s why, here at WaveWall, we’re diligent in our efforts to promote the honest information in as open and unbiased a way as we can.
With all that in mind, let’s get down to the big question you probably came here to have answered.
Is Wireless Charging Dangerous?
The answer: maybe.
Yes, we’re just as frustrated by that as you, but the truth is that until more research is conducted, we just can’t know how dangerous wireless charging really is.
What we can say is that it 100% does emit a significant source of EMF radiation and that we believe this should be a cause for concern. If you’re worried about the dangers of phone calls, Bluetooth, WiFi, or any other EMF source then you should absolutely show the same caution to wireless charging.
Why Isn’t Enough Being Done To Protect Consumers?
Although there are certainly ways you can protect yourself from EMF radiation – we’ll get into some of them in a moment – we’d just like to take a moment right here to express our own frustration at the way this topic is currently being handled.
Quite frankly, more needs to be done to educate the consumer. We’ll get into some ways you can become a part of that at the end but for now, we just want to make it clear that we are just as tired as you of not having clear answers.
For now though, here are some methods you can apply to help keep yourself and your loved ones out of harm’s way.
Five Ways To Keep Yourself Safe
Despite the failure of regulators to act on this issue, it’s worth saying that you can absolutely take measures to minimise your exposure to dangerous radiation. Whether it’s using an EMF meter or detector, changing the way you interact with your devices, or just making sure to do as much research as possible before bringing a new source of EMF into your home, taking precautions can go a long way, both for your health and your peace of mind.
With that being said, here are five ways to responsibly use wireless chargers:
1. Always charge your phone overnight
In general, overnight charging is just a good habit to get into if you haven’t already. The fact of the matter is that if you want good sleep then you shouldn’t be looking at your phone in bed anyway. As we talked about in our piece on e-readers and the dangers of blue light, the light emitted from your phone screen can seriously disrupt your sleep pattern making it much harder to get a good night’s rest.
Overnight charging is also good for controlling how much EMF you’re exposed to and when. If you use a wireless charger during the day, then the chances are you’ll have it nearby where you work. After all, you’ll want to read those important messages right away. This means that you’ll be exposing yourself – or even, potentially, your colleagues – to abnormal levels of magnetic radiation.
By charging your phone overnight, you’re not only shifting into a healthier routine, but you’re also limiting the period of time when you, or those around you, are at risk from your charger’s magnetic field.
2. Don’t keep the charger in the bedroom
It should go without saying, but if you are going to use a wireless charger overnight, you shouldn’t keep it right beside your bed. Admittedly, this is mostly a common sense point, but keeping a source of magnetic radiation on your bedside table while you sleep is pretty much a surefire way to get maximum exposure.
If you want to do yourself a favour then you’ll leave your phone on charge in a different room and pick up where you left off the next morning. After all, it’s not like you’ll need to check your emails while you’re fast asleep.
3. Unplug the charging station during the day
Let’s say it again for the people in the back – it never hurts to take precautions! Unplugging your charging station takes a matter of seconds and is a totally effective method for ensuring that it can emit a magnetic field while it’s not being used. Simply switching the cord off at the outlet or removing it from the wall is the best way to ensure that no magnetic radiation is being emitted during the day while you walk about the house.
This is also why objects with built-in wireless chargers aren’t necessarily a good idea. Do you really want to be sat there worried about the effect your lamp might be having on your health? Why not just treat yourself to a little peace of mind?
4. Adjust your phone’s setting to minimise exposure and maximise battery life
Did you know that Bluetooth is a form of EMF? What’s worse, is that if you leave it on all the time, not only are you exposing yourself to a potential source of radiation, but you’re also draining your phone’s battery for no reason.
While it certainly has its uses, Bluetooth is a constant drain on your phone’s battery and that’s no laughing matter – particularly if you’re using an iPhone or an older model.
If you then go on to use a wireless charger, then that means even more radiation will be emitted for absolutely no reason. Adjusting your phone’s settings to preserve your battery life helps to minimise the charging time and keep you safe throughout the day.
5. If in doubt, stick to wires!
At the end of the day, while wireless charging might be flashy and new it’s also a little pointless. Old-fashioned wires pose almost no threat to the safety of you and your family and are easy enough to use. So long as you’re careful to replace them if/when they are damaged, there’s no particular reason to think of them as a hazard.
Can the same really be said of wireless charging?
Is Wireless Charging Worth The Risk?
As with all things in life, this is still a grey area. We can’t tell you for certain that the magnetic radiation from your wireless charger is doing you harm because the research simply hasn’t been conducted.
On the other hand, there’s a reason why the FCC is careful to monitor the specific absorption rate of EMF emitted by your phone, and if they’re worried about that, then you have to ask why they aren’t worried about this?
When you get right down to it, you also have to ask yourself what benefit wireless charging really brings compared to the potential risks.
Add Your Voice To The Chorus
We said earlier that more needs to be done to have an open and honest public conversation about the dangers of wireless charging and EMF radiation more generally. Here at WaveWall, we believe that has to start somewhere which is why we want to encourage you to get involved.
Are you willing to take a chance on wireless charging? Have any tips and tricks of your own about how to avoid high levels of EMF?