More of us are deciding to buy induction hobs when replacing our old hob or cooker. But did you know that they could interfere with some pacemakers?
In our last survey, 15% of Which? members told us that they’d already embraced induction cooking.
And I expect that, when my current ceramic electric model reaches the end of its natural life, I’ll be going down this route too. Especially as you can now get a Best Buy induction hob for less than £250.
Induction hobs and pacemakers
However, a Which? member got in touch with us to share that they’d recently returned their newly purchased induction hob when they found out it could interfere with pacemakers.
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) recommends – based on academic findings – that people with a pacemaker should get no closer than 60cm from an induction hob.
This is due to electromagnetic induction. Inside an induction hob is a coil of metal. When you turn on the power, an alternating current flows through it. This produces a magnetic field but no heat. Once you put a suitable pan on top, the magnetic field induces whirling electrical currents (eddy currents) inside the pan’s metallic structure. These currents transfer their energy, so the metal pan gets hot and heats up whatever’s inside it.
The electromagnetic field that’s generated may, according to the BHF, interfere with pacemaker settings. Academic evidence suggests a hob wouldn’t cause a catastrophic change to the pacemaker, but there are many types of pacemakers and not all are affected in the same way.
Advice on using induction hobs
Clearly it makes sense to ask when your pacemaker is fitted what advice the pacemaker manufacturer gives regarding the appliances we use in everyday life. Induction hob manufacturers usually also give advice about this in their instruction manuals.
Are you shopping for an induction hob? Were you aware of the BHF’s recommendations about not getting too close to them with pacemakers? Do you think induction hob manufacturers should flag this up more prominently?