skip to Main Content

TV Sets and Radiation: What You Should Know

TV Sets And Radiation
*We may earn a commission for purchases made using our links. Please see our disclosure to learn more.

Television sets have seamlessly integrated into the fabric of numerous American households, with families often owning multiple sets. These devices have become more accessible than ever before, featuring remarkable visual quality and captivating displays.

While we wholeheartedly embrace televisions for the entertainment and enjoyment they bring, it is crucial to contemplate their potential impact on our overall well-being. Unbeknownst to many, televisions emit a form of radiation. However, the precise nature of this radiation and the extent of its magnitude remain fascinating inquiries that deserve closer examination.

Delving into the intricacies of television radiation can unveil valuable insights into its properties and effects on human health. By understanding the specific type and intensity of radiation emitted by TVs, we can make informed decisions to mitigate potential risks and ensure our well-being. Exploring this realm of knowledge not only fosters a greater understanding of the devices we rely on but also empowers us to utilize them responsibly and with a heightened awareness of our health.

X-ray Radiation and Televisions

From the inception of television in the 1930s until the late 2000s, cathode-ray tube (CRT) TV sets reigned supreme. These bulky, old-fashioned television sets were the ones many of us grew up with.

CRT TV sets

The mechanism behind CRT TV sets involves three electron-ray emitters located at the back of the set. Each emitter represents a primary color: red, green, or blue. These electron rays are emitted rapidly, creating the illusion of continuous images on the screen, akin to a flipbook.

However, this process also generates minimal amounts of x-ray radiation. X-rays belong to the category of ionizing radiation, possessing the energy to split atoms and potentially leading to cancer and other health issues.

To mitigate x-ray leakage, CRT TV sets were constructed with screens and metal interiors designed to contain most of the radiation. Nonetheless, a small amount may escape. In the United States, the FDA established a legal limit for this leakage at 0.5mR/hr in 1969.

Over time, CRT TV sets were replaced by newer technologies, such as LED and LCD televisions, commonly known as flat screens. These sleeker options offer enhanced picture quality and high-definition imagery while eliminating the production of ionizing radiation.

Modern TVs and EMF radiation

While modern television sets have made significant advancements in reducing radiation compared to CRTs, they are not without their concerns. These devices emit non-ionizing radiation, which lacks the energy to split atoms. Within this category, there are two types of non-ionizing radiation to consider:

  • Extremely-Low Frequency (ELF) Radiation: This form of electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation has been associated with childhood leukemia. The World Health Organization’s International Association for Research on Cancer recognizes it as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”
  • Radiofrequency (RF) Radiation: RF-EMF radiation is generated by smart TVs that utilize WiFi signals or have Bluetooth receivers. It has been linked to glioma and heart tumors.

While flat-screen TVs are energy-efficient, they may produce “dirty electricity” as a byproduct. This excess electricity flows through the wiring of your home and emits ELF-EMF radiation.

Additionally, the functionalities of smart TVs, such as sending or receiving information, scanning for signals, or connecting with compatible devices, generate radiofrequency waves as another potential source of RF-EMF radiation.

Understanding these types of radiation can help individuals make informed decisions about their exposure and take necessary precautions to minimize potential risks.

Modern TVs

Measuring Radiation from Your TV

TriField TF2To assess the radiation emitted by your television set, you can utilize an EMF meter to measure the electromagnetic fields. A recommended option is the TriField TF2, known for its reliability, accuracy, and ability to detect various forms of EMF radiation. For more alternatives, you can refer to our comprehensive guide, The Best EMF Meters For Any Budget.

During the measurement process, it’s essential to take three readings at different distances from the TV set. Begin by measuring the radiation levels right next to the set, then gradually move back while observing how the readings fluctuate. The first reading should be obtained when the set is unplugged, followed by readings with the set plugged in but turned off, and finally with the set powered on.

This comprehensive assessment is crucial as it allows you to determine if your TV set continues to generate EMF radiation even when it is turned off. Some sets may only be fully powered off when unplugged. Additionally, it provides insights into which areas of the room are affected by TV-related EMF radiation. If you observe an increase in EMF levels near your couch when the TV is powered on, it may be advisable to consider rearranging your living room setup.

Safety Precautions and Tips

  • ethernet cableConsider utilizing a wired internet connection for your smart TV whenever possible. While WiFi-enabled TVs are becoming more prevalent, there are still options available for hardwired connections. By connecting your TV set with an ethernet cable, you can enjoy faster speeds, enhanced security, and reduced EMF radiation. Look for options like Vizio’s D-series, which offers a range of sizes and easy network cable connectivity.
  • Make it a habit to turn off your TV at night, particularly if it uses WiFi. If hardwiring isn’t feasible for your TV or setup, ensure that you at least power down the TV when not in use. Unplugging it may be necessary to ensure it fully shuts down. Similarly, consider unplugging your WiFi router at night for added precaution—find out more in our informative guide.
  • Maintain a safe distance between yourself and the television when it’s on. Radiation levels are highest within two feet of the TV. To minimize exposure, sit back as far as comfortably possible from the device. Arrange your living room in a way that positions the seating area several feet away from the TV, and discourage children from sitting too close while playing games or watching cartoons.
  • Satic's Pure Power Plug-InInstall a dirty electricity filter to mitigate the impact of dirty electricity generated by most newer TVs. These filters help absorb and filter out the unwanted electrical noise within a specific circuit. Satic’s Pure Power Plug-In is one such option worth considering. For further information and alternative filter options, refer to our list of the top five dirty electricity filters.
  • Finally, strive to minimize the number of television sets in your home, particularly avoiding placing one in your child’s bedroom. Resist the temptation to have TVs in every room, as fewer sets are preferable. Keep TVs out of bedrooms, especially those belonging to children, who are more susceptible to health issues related to radiation exposure due to their thinner skulls.

Radiation Standards and Regulations for TVs

The issue of radiation has long been a matter of concern, and it has not escaped the attention of regulatory bodies. Stringent standards and guidelines have been established to govern the permissible levels of radiation emitted by TVs and other electronic devices. Esteemed organizations such as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) are committed to addressing this issue diligently. Consequently, when you purchase a TV set from a reputable manufacturer, you can have peace of mind knowing that it conforms to these stringent radiation guidelines. The industry’s commitment to adhering to these regulations underscores the significance placed on safeguarding consumer well-being and ensuring that TV sets provide an enjoyable viewing experience without compromising on radiation safety.

The Future of Television Sets and Radiation

As technology continues to progress, we witness the evolution of safer and more efficient devices, including television sets. Innovations such as OLED and QLED technologies not only offer enhanced picture quality but also boast lower radiation emissions. Engineers and scientists are tirelessly striving to further minimize radiation from TV sets, constantly pushing the boundaries of safety in entertainment.

These ongoing efforts reflect a commitment to prioritize consumer well-being and ensure that our enjoyment of television is accompanied by minimized radiation exposure. The relentless pursuit of advancements in TV technology aims to provide users with peace of mind, knowing that they can indulge in their favorite shows and movies while maintaining a safer environment. With each stride forward, we inch closer to a future where television sets offer the perfect blend of performance, quality, and minimized radiation emissions.

Final Thoughts

Understanding the radiation from our TV sets may not be the most glamorous topic, but it’s undoubtedly an important one. As conscientious consumers and viewers, we must stay informed about the potential effects of our electronic devices and take reasonable precautions. Rest assured that, with knowledge in hand and the tips we’ve provided, you can continue enjoying your favorite shows with peace of mind.


What started out as an intention to protect my family from the dangers of EMF radiation has turned into a mission to share my research with as many people as possible. Despite the ever-increasing threat of EMF, there are many ways to keep ourselves protected. Knowledge is power!

Back To Top
×Close search