If you spend more hours on your computer each day, you have to be concerned about the amount of EMF exposure. The computer itself and all the accessories attached to your computer emit EMF radiation.
The proximity between you and the EMF emitting device determines the level of exposure. Some of these computer accessories emit more EMF radiation than others.
Do keyboards emit EMF?
Keyboards do emit EMF radiation. Like other electrical devices, keyboards emit electromagnetic waves due to their electronic components. The closer you are to the keyboard, the higher the exposure. However, the amount of radiation emitted depends on whether you’re using a wired or wireless keyboard.
Wireless keyboards use Bluetooth technology and transmit more EMF radiation than wired keyboards.
So, how much radiation do keyboards emit? Let’s see how you can measure radiation from your keyboard and take steps to lower your risk of exposure.
How do keyboards emit EMF Radiation?
Keyboards emit both electric and magnetic field radiation. The circuit board emits a small amount of EMF radiation when transmitting short pulses of electricity into the computer. Whenever you press any key on the keyboard, the short pulses of current are sent to your computer.
In addition, the circuit board constantly monitors the status of the keyboard. So, even if you don’t press any key, there are still some EMF emissions. The level of exposure depends on the distance between your wrists and the keyboard. This is true due to the inverse-square law of physics that states that “when double your distance from the source of EMF radiation, you quarter your exposure level.”
And since it is impossible to use the keyboard without placing your wrists on it, you should buy a low EMF keyboard for your computer.
Next, you have to choose whether to go for a wired or wireless keyboard, which depends on many factors. Many people prefer wireless keyboards for use at home due to their convenience. You don’t have to deal with the mess of pulling long cables around. You can always put the keyboard in the drawer when not needed and don’t have to worry about desktop space.
Are wireless keyboards safe from radiation?
Wireless keyboards expose you to high Radio Frequency radiation and Bluetooth radiation levels. Any additional features in your keyboard increase EMF exposure.
Wireless keyboards use Bluetooth as the communication protocol with your computer or laptop. When the Bluetooth is on, it emits radio waves that are harmful to your health, but the keyboard doesn’t emit radiation when not in use.
Look at my detailed article to learn how much radiation Bluetooth devices emit.
Additionally, the further the keyboard is, the more radiation it emits. This is true for all wireless devices if they detect poor connectivity or poor signal strength. In such cases, they increase radiation-emitting power to search for devices to connect to.
When you turn off Bluetooth on your computer, the wireless keyboard records a high radiation value because it will keep searching for a connection device. After the keyboard establishes a connection with the computer, it will only emit radiation after pressing the keys.
If your wireless keyboard has digital sensors and backlighting control features, they emit higher amounts of EMF radiation.
Therefore, wireless keyboards are not safe from radiation. So, if you’re concerned about your health, you should replace your wireless keyboard with a wired keyboard with mechanical switches.
A wired USB keyboard emits low amounts of EMFs compared to wireless keyboards. Make sure to turn off Bluetooth on your computer after you replace it. Go to PC settings > Wireless > Off if you’re using Windows 8 and above.
How to measure EMFs from keyboards
Measuring EMF exposure from the keyboard and other EMF sources around you is very important. I recommend TriField TF2, a high-quality EMF meter for measuring RF, electric, and magnetic fields. Also, look at my article on the best EMF meters in the market and choose one that fits your budget.
Once you have your EMF meter ready, unplug your keyboard and take measurements on the AC electric field. Next, plug the keyboard into the computer and take the measurement. Record the measurement and then press any key to see if there is a spike in radiation.
How to reduce radiation from keyboards
Exposure to keyboard radiation for more extended periods can have harmful effects on your health. If your work requires you to spend long hours typing on your keyboard, you need to take measures to reduce your exposure. You can reduce your exposure in the following ways.
Replace a wireless keyboard with a wired keyboard
Wireless devices emit a higher amount of RF radiation when transmitting signals. Therefore, replace your wireless keyboard with a wired keyboard that emits low radiation and reduces your exposure to RF radiation.
Switch off Bluetooth on your computer
Disable the Bluetooth function on your computer to prevent your computer from continuously searching for the wireless devices to connect to. Also, since you’re no longer using your wireless keyboard, it will reduce your exposure to EMFs.
Buy low EMF keyboards
Always go for a low EMF keyboard like the IKBC CD 108 V2 Mechanical keyboard with a clear switch. This keyboard is suitable for both Windows and Mac, is compatible with desktop and laptop computers, is durable, simple, and has double-shot keycaps.
Maintain a safe distance
Although it’s not easy to keep your hands and wrist from the keyboard, avoid placing the keyboard on your lap while in use. Also, set the keyboard some distance from the rest of your body. The further it is, the lower the risk of exposure to electromagnetic fields.
The closer the keyboard to your hands and wrists, the more exposed you are to harmful EMFs. Choosing the wrong keyboard can increase your risk exposure. Therefore, it is vital to go for low EMF keyboards.
It would be best to consider replacing your wireless keyboard with a wired keyboard that emits lower radiation. Although wireless keyboards are convenient, they put you at high risk of exposure.
Again, most wireless instruments, including wireless keyboards and even the wireless mouse, can lead to EMF radiation. So, if you think that using a cordless mouse is safe, I’d advise you to think again. I’ve written a more in-depth article on these stealthy appliances, which you can read here.