Do Toasters Have Radiation?

Last Updated On September 6th, 2017

Toasters have been humanity’s faithful servants for time immemorial. It has toasted countless slices of bread day after day, without complaining. But we have become so caught up in health hazards that we begin to question everything. It not necessarily a bad thing; it is quite the opposite. It means that we can think.

Do Toasters have Radiation?

So when we look at the toaster as an appliance that works on electricity, we check to see if it is a fire hazard. Once we are sure of our findings, we find the next thing to be worried about – harmful radiation. So, you may ask – do toasters have radiation?

In the simplest terms, radiation is defined as the transmission of energy in the form or waves or sub-atomic particles. (Mr. Einstein split the atom and some other people managed to split it whatever came out of it further). As far as us, the laymen are concerned; the radiation is of four types – electromagnetic (waves), particle (sub-atomic), acoustic (sound) and gravitational.

  • Electromagnetic radiation deals with electricity, heat, light, X-rays and gamma.
  • Particle radiation is what you hear when they talk about fission or fusion of atoms in nuclear fuel.
  • Acoustic radiation is concerned with sound waves.

And gravitational radiation deals with ripples in the curvature of space and time.

Answering the Abilities of a Toaster

Now, our toasters are not nuclear powered yet. They still work on electricity. This means we can eliminate gravitational and particle radiation as the potential side effects. Great! So what about acoustic and electromagnetic radiation? Well, when your toaster had done its work you hear a ‘bing’ or some other cute noise.

So yes, you may say that it ‘radiates sound energy’ and feel technically correct. No harm in that though, because your ears still work. And there have not been any records of people going deaf because of the ‘bing’. Perhaps when the toasters explode…

What’s the bother anyway?

Anyway, the remaining culprit, if you want to label it as such is the electromagnetic radiation. Does the toaster have electromagnetic radiation? Not quite. It might help in understanding the working principle of the toaster to get the answer to that question.

Understanding How a Toaster Works

Simply put, toasters have a metallic coil that has a high electrical resistance, meaning that electricity has to work harder to pass through it. Since it has to work harder, it produces heat, similar to how friction produces heat. The metallic coil heats up and glows red and your toast magic happens. The heat that is ‘radiated’ is in the form of ‘infrared waves’.

They constitute a form of electromagnetic radiation and lie on the spectrum of electromagnetic waves at a particular frequency. If these words are heavy for you, an intellectual can explain more. Just make sure that the intellectual is not a Sheldon Cooper.

Answering the question one final time…

So the toaster as an appliance ‘makes use of infrared radiation’ to toast your slices of bread, instead of ‘having radiation’. And infrared radiation is not quite harmful unless you manage to touch the coil responsible for it out of curiosity.

About the Author

Highly experienced with home appliances through his previous jobs, Bradley wanted to make a difference by helping UK consumers make sense of the jargon and easily pick the cream from the crop. He does the hard work so you don't have to!

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