Amazon Echo speakers and other virtual assistant devices have become popular in almost every smart home. Their convenience makes them the most preferred devices to control other wireless devices in your home with your voice.
Due to growing concerns about the risks associated with smart devices, it’s logical to wonder whether Amazon Echo emits EMF radiation.
Let’s explore more about the dangers of these smart devices and the measures you can take to protect yourself.
What is Amazon Echo?
Amazon Echo or Alexa is an artificially intelligent personal assistant that helps you perform a variety of tasks through a voice command.
This standalone device has a Bluetooth speaker fitted with far-field microphones ready to accept your voice commands. The device has a Wi-Fi feature that connects to the Amazon Cloud.
When you install the device in your home, Alexa actively listens to your commands and questions. Some Echo models can answer your questions, do research on the internet, help you stream music, or help you command and control other smart devices in your home.
Does Amazon Echo Emit Radiation?
Yes, Amazon Echo emits electromagnetic radiation. As the device sends and receives data from other wireless connected devices, it emits Radio Frequency (RF) radiation.
In addition, Amazon Echo emits both electrical and magnetic field radiation through its electrical components. Just like other electronic devices, the electric fields and magnetic fields emitted are usually in small amounts, though this depends on the device you’re using.
For example, magnetic field radiation emitted by a Macbook Pro device is higher than the magnetic fields emitted by your Amazon Echo device.
The low amount of magnetic and electric field radiation emitted by Amazon Echo doesn’t have much impact on your health unless you put the device right next to your body. Your only concern should be the RF radiation emitted by the device and other virtual assistant devices such as Google Home, and Apple Homepod.
Furthermore, some of the wireless devices you have in your home emit low-frequency radiation while others emit high-frequency radiation. Wi-Fi enabled smart devices emit high-frequency waves because they have strong signals and require a higher range of energy to operate, while devices using Bluetooth connectivity have low energy output.
Devices using Wi-Fi connectivity emit high amounts of RF radiation. The amount of RF radiation emitted by Amazon Echo speakers is similar to the RF radiation emitted by your cell phone. If you’ve been reading articles on my blog, by now you know how dangerous RF radiation is and its effects on your health.
How Amazon Echo Emits EMF Radiation
Amazon Echo communicates with other connected devices through wireless technology. The communicating devices have to establish a connection with each other and then use the radio waves to transmit data packets.
They send data packets back and forth through RF within the range of 2.4 GHz to 5 GHz. This frequency range is similar to that used by Wi-Fi routers for the transmission of packets.
Additionally, the device can also send and receive data packets using the Bluetooth protocol. Sending and receiving of data through Wi-Fi and Bluetooth results in the emission of RF signals.
As the devices transmit more data, the higher the levels of RF emission are. If you’re in close proximity to a device, they will expose you to high levels of RF radiation.
The EMFs emitted by these devices are harmful to your body and overall well-being. Due to the dangerous effects of EMF radiation, especially RF radiation, some countries have established some protective regulations.
For example, countries like the US have set a Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) for cell phones to be 1.6 w/Kg. The SAR value is the amount of radiation you can absorb from your cell phone device. The radiation exposure should not exceed the recommended SAR value.
All other devices including Amazon Echo are subject to protective regulations. Manufacturers of these devices should ensure their manufactured devices do not emit more RF radiation than the recommended SAR value.
However, some devices emit more RF radiation than the recommended value. If you have electromagnetic hypersensitivity, even the 1.6 w/Kg value will likely bother you. Thus, there is a need for more protective measures against EMF from these devices.
Effects of EMF from Amazon Echo
The high amounts of RF radiation emitted by your Echo device is very dangerous to your body. Children like to use these devices close to them and sing along with the device. This exposes them to high doses of electromagnetic radiation which is linked to various health effects.
The manufacturers recommend installing your Echo devices a minimum distance of 8-inches (20 cm) away from your body. Placing it close to you will expose you to high levels especially if the Wi-Fi feature is enabled.
The Amazon manual states that “the device should be installed and operated within a minimum distance of 20 cm. The device should be operated in a manner that minimizes the potential for human contact during its normal operation.”
Children are more vulnerable to EMF radiation since their brain cells have not fully developed and their skulls are not as strong. Continuous exposure to radiation from these devices can lead to childhood leukemia, brain tumors, and other types of cancer.
According to a study on the dangers of EMFs, some of the health risks linked to exposure to RF radiation include:
- damage of DNA cells;
- neurological diseases;
- sleep disruptions;
- miscarriage; and
- lower brain development of the fetus.
Continuous use of these devices or sitting close to them will have harmful effects on your health in the near future.
How to Protect Yourself Against the EMF Dangers of Amazon Echo
Since the RF radiation danger is cumulative, taking small steps can help you reduce your exposure levels. Some of the ways you can reduce your exposure include:
1. Keep distance
Maintaining the distance between you and the Echo device helps you reduce your exposure. Based on inverse square law, as you double your distance you quarter your radiation exposure. You don’t have to worry if your Echo device is a few feet away.
However, if you have a smart assistant device that you keep close to you or have to hold it while operating it then you should be concerned about EMF exposure.
2. Turn off your Wi-Fi
Amazon Echo devices are Wi-Fi enabled and whenever they transmit data packets, they emit RF radiation. Exposure to RF radiation especially at night can interfere with the quality of your sleep.
You can reduce the Wi-Fi radiation by switching off your Wi-Fi at night or when not in use. This will protect your body in the long term as well as ensure you have a better quality of sleep.
You can also reduce Wi-Fi radiation by using a Wi-Fi router guard to block the RF signals emitted by your device. You can put your router inside the router guard to reduce RF emissions. Router guard shields you up to about 90 % without the router speed. It also doesn’t interfere with signal strength.
Your Amazon Echo is great for issuing voice commands, setting reminders, giving you notifications, or even helping you in streaming your favorite music. Since the device emits electromagnetic radiation, where you place it is very important.
Manufacturers recommend maintaining a distance of 20 cm from the device to reduce your exposure level. The RF radiation emitted by the device when sending and receiving data is very dangerous to your health.
If this device is a must-have in your home, you can take the measures discussed in this article to reduce your exposure to RF emissions.