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So, tablets have become a huge deal, right? And the iPad, in particular, has become a go-to choice for many of us, myself included. I love how sleek and user-friendly it is, but there’s one thing that’s been bugging me: EMF radiation.
Now, I’ve done a bit of research, and I want to share what I’ve learned about the radiation from iPads and how we can protect ourselves while using them.
In this guide, I’ll cover the types of radiation produced by your iPad, how those levels compare to other similar devices, and what you can do to keep yourself safe while using it.
iPads And EMF Radiation
iPads, like other tablets and similar devices, emit an electromagnetic field, which is a type of non-ionizing radiation. The iPad produces two different types of EMF radiation:
RF-EMF: Radiofrequency (RF) radiation is produced by any device that generates a radio signal. iPads do this when they connect to WiFi, Bluetooth, or the cellular network. Even if they are not actively connected, so long as the device is powered on, it’s constantly searching for a connection — and that in itself produces RF-EMF radiation.
ELF-EMF: If something has an electric current, it generates extremely-low frequency (ELF) EMF radiation. The iPad produces small amounts of ELF-EMF radiation when it’s on. It generates additional amounts when the device is charging.
Both RF and ELF-EMF radiation are recognized as possibly carcinogenic by the World Health Organization’s International Association for Research on Cancer.
SAR Levels Compared To Other Tablets
Federal regulations surrounding EMF radiation deal with Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) levels, which refer to the amount of radiation absorbed per gram of tissue while the device is in use. In the United States, the limit is 1.6 W/kg for electronic devices such as tablets and cell phones.
Here’s the SAR level for some popular tablet models:
|Tablet Model||SAR level (1.6 W/kg)|
|iPad Pro (all models)||1.19|
|Samsung Galaxy s5e||1.27|
|Lenovo Tablet 10||1.07|
|Amazon Fire 10||1.32|
As you can see from the chart, the newest iPad is in line with the SAR levels of other popular tablets, and all are well below the 1.6W/kg legal limit. That fact may seem comforting, but consider this: twice now, independent tests have shown Apple devices to have SAR levels far above the reported levels, and even higher than 1.6W/kg. While both instances were with an iPhone, not an iPad, it does call into question the accuracy of SAR levels in general.
Furthermore, one problem with SAR levels is that they fail to take into consideration cumulative exposure. If I frequently use my tablet or phone while watching my smart TV in a home filled with LED light bulbs and smart meter radiation, my actual exposure levels will be much higher than the SAR levels for any singular device.
Testing Your iPad
To circumvent the SAR problem, I recommend testing your device’s radiation levels yourself. You can do this with an EMF meter, which can detect electric field, magnetic field, and RF radiation in order to detect all forms produced by the iPad. For help choosing one, refer to our guide to EMF Meters For Any Budget.
When testing your device, take two measurements each time: one with the device off, and one with the device on. The measurements with the device off are useful to establish base levels, while the measurements with the device on help you determine the amount of radiation produced by the device.
To start, power off the device and take a reading with the meter directly on the device. Power it on and note how the levels change. Try this again at various distances from the device to find out how far you should hold the tablet from your body while in use.
Another interesting test to perform is one with data, WiFi, and Bluetooth enabled and disabled.
This test allows you to see how much radiation is produced by a Bluetooth signal, for example. It also helps you determine the lowest amount of radiation produced by the device while it is still powered on.
Tips For Staying Safe From iPad Radiation
- Use an iPad sleeve. Much like protective cell phone cases, iPad sleeves and cases can help shield you from a large amount of radiation produced by the tablet. Cases fit over the iPad, usually covering the entire back of the device at all times. This means you are always shielded from behind the tablet. Most cases also have a flap that can cover the screen when not in use. One of my favorite iPad sleeves is the DefenderShield’s Tablet & iPad Emf Radiation Protection Case. Made from vegan leather, this case protects against 99% of RF-radiation — including 5G.
- Download content whenever possible. iPads are great for entertainment, but streaming music and movies requires an active connection to either WiFi or the cellular network. If you tested your device with an EMF meter, you likely noticed that when your tablet holds an active connection, the radiation produced is higher than when the iPad is in airplane mode. For that reason, whenever possible, download the content you need and put the iPad into airplane mode.
- Keep your iPad at least six inches away from you when in use. When using my iPad, I always try to keep it at least six inches away from me. The closer I am to the source of EMF radiation, the higher my exposure. Therefore, the more distance between me and the iPad, the better. Maintaining a six-inch distance from the screen, at a minimum, can help reduce exposure significantly.
- Turn the device off when not in use. Your iPad will produce the lowest amount of radiation when it’s powered down completely. If you don’t need your device for a while, consider shutting it down. Just be mindful of the fact that the EMF produced will likely temporarily spike when the iPad is powered back on. Try to turn the device on, set it down, and allow it to start up before using it.
- Reduce your overall EMF exposure. The bucket analogy applies here. If your bucket is full, and you try to add water, it overflows. Therefore you want to have an empty bucket. If you lower your overall EMF exposure, then the amount you’re exposed to by the iPad won’t have as much of an impact on your health. For tips on how to lower the EMF levels in your home, check out Whole House EMF Protection: The Definitive Guide.
There’s no doubt that my iPad truly makes my life easier in many ways, but I understand there are also risks involved. Therefore, I try to take measures to lower my exposure to EMF and be more mindful of how much I use my iPad to minimize negative impacts on my health.
If you can’t live without your tablet, but are also concerned about EMF exposure, I highly suggest following these tips to protect yourself and others around you from harmful iPad radiation. At the very least, you may want to consider investing in an iPad sleeve like the DefenderShield iPad case to minimize your exposure. Remember, it’s all about finding a balance between enjoying the convenience of technology and staying safe.
I thought it’d be helpful to address some common questions about iPad radiation and protection. Here are a few FAQs to help you understand this topic better:
Q: How harmful is the EMF radiation from iPads compared to other sources?
A: While iPads do emit EMF radiation, the levels are generally lower than those from other sources like cell phones, Wi-Fi routers, and microwave ovens. However, it’s still essential to be cautious and take steps to minimize your exposure.
Q: How can I check the SAR level of my iPad?
A: You can find the SAR level for your specific iPad model in the user manual, on Apple’s website, or by doing a quick online search. Keep in mind that SAR levels are just one way to measure radiation exposure, and it’s a good idea to use an EMF meter for more accurate readings.
Q: Can I use my iPad while it’s charging, or will that increase my exposure to radiation?
A: Using your iPad while it’s charging can increase your exposure to ELF-EMF radiation. To reduce exposure, it’s better to charge your device fully before using it, or unplug it while in use.
Q: Are children more susceptible to the effects of EMF radiation from iPads?
A: Some studies suggest that children may be more sensitive to EMF radiation due to their developing bodies and thinner skulls. It’s a good idea to limit children’s screen time and encourage the use of protective measures like iPad sleeves when they do use the device.
Q: How can I reduce my exposure to EMF radiation from other devices in my home?
A: Some steps to consider include: using wired connections instead of Wi-Fi, keeping electronic devices away from your sleeping area, and turning off devices when they’re not in use. For more tips, refer to guides like Whole House EMF Protection: The Definitive Guide.