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Electromagnetic waves. Are you concerned?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

So I announced to some coworkers the other day. I promptly received my first piece of (unwanted) advice. 

I've been using an electronic heating pad at work. Since getting P, I've been more easily cold than usual, and now my whole body will shiver, my teeth will chatter. I've been keeping the heating pad away from my belly, and just been using it on my lap / knees. 

My coworker said to me "You know, that pad gives off a huge amount of electromagnetic waves. You shouldn't use it. It's really bad for the baby." I was a bit stumped and just thanked her for that piece of information, although it later annoyed me just because of how she said it. 


Either way, I asked my fiancé what he thought about it when I got home, and he agreed with my coworker. And since then, he's been nagging me to "be careful" with my laptop too. I use my laptop on my lap, sometimes I put a pillow underneath it. It's never directly on my belly, but I guess you can say it's still pretty close by. 

 

Are you concerned about electromagnetic waves at all? I can't help but feel like this is just another way to scare pregnant women, but maybe I am wrong. A quick google search didn't yield any helpful results. What do you guys think?

post #2 of 14
They are everywhere!! I'm not worried to be honest.
post #3 of 14
I've worried about this before, but I really don't know how concerned I should be. I used an electric heating pad all through my pregnancy with ds and never thought about it- what I worry more about is avoiding resting my laptop or ipad or cell phone against my body. I don't really limit my time with these, though.
post #4 of 14
If you're worried about the heating pad you can always get an old fashioned hot water bottle instead, but honestly, I wouldn't worry about it since there's little we can do to avoid electromagnetic waves anyhow.
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by aoifesmiles View Post

If you're worried about the heating pad you can always get an old fashioned hot water bottle instead, but honestly, I wouldn't worry about it since there's little we can do to avoid electromagnetic waves anyhow.

 

yeahthat.gif

 

I worry more about the things I can readily control, such as toxins I'm exposed through through food I eat or products I use. 

post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennyanydots View Post

I've worried about this before, but I really don't know how concerned I should be. I used an electric heating pad all through my pregnancy with ds and never thought about it- what I worry more about is avoiding resting my laptop or ipad or cell phone against my body. I don't really limit my time with these, though.

This. Or standing too close to a badly shielded microwave (no way to know, I just try to keep my distance from those that look old and beat up), or spending significant amounts of time close to high voltage lines or electric substations.

 

I really do not see how a heating pad would emit a significant amount of electromagnetic radiation - even though I don't know the particulars of how it works, it obviously has some sort of heating element which is a whole different game that, for example, the inside of a microwave (where you are just emitting energy and hoping that anything that's inside the cage will absorb it - another reason why you should never run a microwave empty, and why it's better to press stop before opening the door than just yank it open). But the fact that it's something *designed* to emit heat, vs. having heat be a side product of it's functioning, would make me feel safer about it.

post #7 of 14

There are blankets that supposedly block the EMF waves.

 

A quick search pulled this up: http://www.bioelectricshield.com/vmchk/Laptop-or-Monitor/EMF-Protection-Blanket-for-laptops-pregnancy-newborns/flypage.tpl.html

post #8 of 14
Vc I would not worry about the EMI being put out by the heating pad. It is running at the same frequency as everything else that surrounds you everyday. 60hertz. Since it runs off household current from your walls, just like your lights for example and its a very simple circuit. Your lights also give off energy at 60 htz. Do you avoid turning on your lights at home or the office? Other equipment in our lives such as a badly shielded microwave might cause me some concern but not the heating pad especially since we are bombarded with those sorts of frequencies every moment of every day.

My fiancé and I just had a discussion after I read your post. We both have degrees in electrical and computer engineering and neither of us would worry about the heating pad. smile.gif Continue enjoying warm legs at work without any guilt. orngbiggrin.gif
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by letniaLynne View Post

Vc I would not worry about the EMI being put out by the heating pad. It is running at the same frequency as everything else that surrounds you everyday. 60hertz. Since it runs off household current from your walls, just like your lights for example and its a very simple circuit. Your lights also give off energy at 60 htz. Do you avoid turning on your lights at home or the office? Other equipment in our lives such as a badly shielded microwave might cause me some concern but not the heating pad especially since we are bombarded with those sorts of frequencies every moment of every day.

nit: 50 Hz in Europe winky.gif

 

Sorry, couldn't resist - fellow electrical engineer here orngbiggrin.gif

post #10 of 14

I wouldn't worry about the heating pad. It gives off infrared, but so does anything warm. (That's how night vision goggles work). Whatever else it gives off shouldn't be any worse than the many other electric devices that are everywhere.

 

Electromagnetic waves include a lot of things. Radio waves for example, are very low energy ones and not dangerous, but x-rays are high energy ones and are dangerous obviously. Don't be fearmongered by vague claims about the danger of electromagnetic waves.

 

Also fellow science person here. I have degrees in physics.

post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by chispita View Post

nit: 50 Hz in Europe winky.gif

Sorry, couldn't resist - fellow electrical engineer here orngbiggrin.gif

You know I almost mentioned that in my original post lol! orngtongue.gif

Love seeing other crunchy/ techie ladies here on mothering. orngbiggrin.gif
post #12 of 14

I don't really worry about it much. Considering the world I live in, it seems futile. I do not limit laptop use at all, and my wife bought one of those "belly armor" blankets for that. It doesn't bother me to use it, but it makes her feel better so it's an easy compromise. 

post #13 of 14
What if your bed is against the wall that has the breaker box connected to it?
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by swissmiss2584 View Post

What if your bed is against the wall that has the breaker box connected to it?

I don't think I'd be worried, but if you're concerned and have somewhere else to move the bed to just do it - it's not worth stressing over if it can be easily fixed smile.gif (though generally things involving moving furniture aren't easy...)

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