Do Solar Panels Emit Radiation?
One of the more frequent questions we get is if solar panels emit radiation and if they can give you cancer.
Yes, solar panels do emit weak amounts of radiation. They emit about 60Hz, but when you look at the Electro Magnetic Frequency (EMF) spectrum is a very low and safe amount. To give you some perspective, your home Wifi emits 10 X that amount with up to 5.8Ghz. So they are completely safe to install on your roof.
See the EMF range below to see where solar panels fit in with other home appliances.
Solar panels are photovoltaic (PV) cells or nodules that collect the sun’s radiation and convert it into electricity. They are usually made out of metals such as aluminium, silicon, and glass.
They convert solar energy into direct current (DC) which is then converted into alternating current (AC) by an inverter for domestic use. Solar panels are an essential part of solar power. They harvest the energy needed to produce solar energy.
Do solar panels emit Electro Magnetic Fequencies (EMF)?
It is well known that solar panels do emit small amounts of radiation in the form of weak electromagnetic fields (EMF). However, subsequent research by many reputable health organizations including the WHO has proved that this small amount of radiation causes no harm to humans.
Do solar panels cause cancer?
According to all currently available research, solar panels do not cause cancer. There is no scientific evidence that solar panels cause cancer and no increase in the number of cancer sufferers around areas with solar farms and solar parks.
When it comes to cancer, the opposite can be said for solar panels. This is because by converting the sun’s radiation to energy and electricity, they are helping to offset other energy/electricity generating sources that contribute to air pollution which can cause lung cancer e.g. fossil fuels that produce carbon dioxide smoke that pollutes the air.
Can solar panels cause headaches?
No, solar panels do not cause headaches. Solar panels produce EMF/radiation and are said to contain some toxic compounds or elements, like gallium arsenide and cadmium telluride. However, these elements do not increase your risk of headaches or other diseases.
Solar panels do not have major effects on your health regardless of the EMF/radiation as it has no effect. Most solar panels comply with the Federal Communications Commission’s standards for electrical devices, meaning they are regulated to cause no harm to users. All in all, solar panels do not increase a person’s risk of getting headaches.
What are the negative effects of solar panels?
Solar panels are necessary to get solar energy, harvest renewable energy, and don’t produce greenhouse gases. However, what are the Negative effects of solar panels;
1. Manufacturing of solar panels produces toxic gases
Solar panels are made from raw materials like aluminium, silicone, plastics, glass, etc. Some solar cells even have toxic compounds, such as cadmium and gallium arsenide. These materials produce toxic fumes when extracted for manufacturing use and this contributes to environmental pollution.
Although the manufacturing of solar panels causes some harm to the environment, it does not produce any harmful gases when collecting solar radiation and only a negligible amount of EMF/radiation.
2. The disposal of solar panels causes pollution
Solar panels are manufactured using materials that cannot be recycled. This means that when it comes to the disposal of solar panels, it poses a danger to the environment. The materials used in the production of solar panels are neither recyclable nor biodegradable. They end up creating landfills full of disposed solar panels, hence, causing land pollution.
3. Solar panels make use of toxic chemicals
Toxic chemicals are very involved in the production, maintenance, and disposal of solar panels. Toxic chemical compounds such as cadmium and gallium arsenide are used in the manufacturing of solar cells found in solar panels.
Toxic chemicals such as trichloroethane, sulfuric acid, hydrogen fluoride, and acetone are also used in cleaning and maintaining solar panels and their semiconductor surfaces. These chemicals are harmful and dangerous to those who come in contact with it as they can lead to health problems. They can pollute the environment
Are solar panels more harmful to the environment?
We know that solar panels make use of toxic compounds during the manufacturing process and these toxins are environmental hazards. So are solar panels more harmful to the environment than other forms of energy?
No, Solar panels are not more harmful to the environment. They are better for the environment. Although the production of solar panels makes use of environmentally hazardous products, they do not produce air pollution or greenhouse gases during operation.
Solar energy is good for the environment when compared with other forms of energy such as fossil fuels. They make use of a natural renewable source; the sun, and have a minimal effect on the environment throughout their life span of 25-30 years.
Do solar panels leach chemicals?
Yes, solar panels leach chemicals. Despite the multiple benefits of solar panels, they are known to have negative environmental impacts. One of the ways solar panels negatively impact the environment is the leaching of toxic chemicals.
These leached chemicals are usually essential for the manufacturing and production of solar panels. However, upon disposal of solar panels due to damage, these toxic chemicals are released back into the environment. Toxic compounds like lead, cadmium, etc. are some of the most commonly leached chemicals from solar panels.
These toxic chemicals when leached can get into groundwater near the area of disposal and contaminate it. Contamination of water by these toxins makes it unfit for consumption and causes harm to the environment.
How to protect against solar panel radiation
If you are still unsure, one of the best ways to protect yourself and monitor radiation levels around you is by buying an EMF metre.
EMF metres help to find sources of radiation but know if the things you’re doing to mitigate that radiation are working. There are many EMF metres available on the market. Try going for an EMF meter within your price range with the ability to measure all radiations like the Trifield TF2.
For EMF caused by smart metres, there are ways to protect yourself from radiation. They include opting out of smart metres thereby eliminating the cause, getting a radiation shield for the device, painting over the device with EMF protection paint, etc.
Author: Ben McInerney is a renewable energy enthusiast with the goal of helping more Australians understand solar systems to make the best choice before they purchase. Having an accredited solar installer in the family helps give Ben access to the correct information, which allows him to break it down and make it easily understandable to the average homeowner.