We posted this warning by Princeton University on the cancer risk from fridge magnets on the Tech ARP Forums six years ago, but it keeps popping back up on social media, and even messaging apps like WhatsApp. If you haven’t read it yet (impossible!), here it is again :
Now, let’s debunk this fake Princeton warning…
There Is No Cancer Risk From Fridge Magnets
- There is NO SUCH STUDY by Princeton.
- Magnets do NOT produce radiation.
- Magnets can actually protect AGAINST radiation. In fact, the Earth is protected against solar and cosmic radiation by a magnetic field.
- Decorative magnets are permanent magnets with rather weak magnetic fields. If you slam your fridge’s door hard enough, many will fall off. That’s how weak they generally are.
Don’t Sweat It!
The strength of magnetic fields decreases very rapidly with distance. In fact, placing a piece of cardboard between the magnet and the fridge door is usually enough to prevent the magnet from sticking to the door.
Therefore, how can decorative magnets have ANY effect on food stored in the refrigerator? Even if you attach a really strong magnet to the fridge door, the magnetic field will not extend far enough into the fridge to affect any food stored inside.
Also, magnetic fields have no discernable or permanent effects on the human body. We use extremely large and powerful magnets in MRI machines and barring the presence of magnetic substances in the body (implants, tattoo inks), it’s extremely safe to use.
Interestingly, refrigerators use magnets to keep the doors closed, and their electric motors have magnets that generate electromagnetic fields. These are certainly closer in distance to the stored food, and stronger than any decorative magnet.
Finally, the reason why there is no statement about this “danger” by any government or health authority is because there is NO SUCH DANGER!
Don’t let this hoax about the cancer risk from fridge magnets put a dent in your creativity. Have fun decorating your fridge door with decorative magnet!
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