The Hidden Risks of Nintendo Switch EMF Radiation: What You Need to Know to Protect Your Family

The Nintendo Switch has been popular among kids and adults since it was released in 2017. The Switch has the flexibility to be both a handheld and used as a console with controllers, and it has a wide variety of games available. If you and your family enjoy playing the Nintendo Switch, it makes sense to understand and become educated on the EMF radiation potential from the Switch along with how to limit it so you can keep having fun.

Does the Nintendo Switch Emit EMF Radiation?

Yes, the Nintendo Switch console emits EMF radiation. It emits three types of EMF radiation: radio frequency (RF) radiation, magnetic field radiation, and electric field radiation. Additionally, the Joy-Con Controllers, Pro controller, Nintendo Entertainment System Controller, Nintendo 64 Controller, and SEGA Genesis Control Pad all emit low levels of RF radiation, magnetic field radiation, and electric field radiation as well.

Given the current state of knowledge, it is critical to approach this issue with caution. While some may argue that the available scientific evidence does not conclusively show health problems associated with low-power wireless devices, there is no proof that these devices are absolutely safe. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) lost a significant lawsuit because their guidelines do not consider the specific vulnerabilities of children, whose smaller bodies may be more susceptible to RF radiation.

The FCC’s outdated guidelines are based on assumptions that do not align with current scientific understanding. Studies have shown that RF radiation can have biological effects even at low levels that do not produce heating. This has raised serious concerns, especially for children who are frequent users of these devices.

Explaining the Types of EMF Radiation Emitted From Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch console and controllers emit RF radiation, magnetic field radiation, and electric field radiation. Let’s dive into the three types of EMF radiation, why you should care, and how to limit your and your family’s exposure to these EMFs.

Radio Frequency (RF) EMF Radiation

RF EMF includes radio waves and microwaves and is at the low end of the electromagnetic spectrum. It is a type of non-ionizing radiation, which means it does not have enough energy to remove electrons from an atom. The Nintendo Switch console connects to the internet through Wi-Fi, and Wi-Fi is a type of RF EMF radiation. Additionally, the Nintendo Switch controllers all connect to the console via Bluetooth, which also emits RF EMF radiation. Connecting wireless Bluetooth headphones to the Switch adds additional RF EMF radiation exposure.

Electric and Magnetic Field EMF Radiation

While the Nintendo Switch primarily uses DC power, the AC power adapter that charges the battery can still produce both electric and magnetic fields. Here’s a quick overview of electric and magnetic fields:

  • Electric Fields: Produced by voltage. The greater the voltage, the stronger the electric field. Measured in volts per meter (V/m).
  • Magnetic Fields: Produced by the flow of electric current. The greater the current, the stronger the magnetic field. Measured in microteslas (μT).
  • Electric field + magnetic field = electromagnetic fields (EMF).

How Much Radio Frequency (RF) Radiation Does the Nintendo Switch Emit?

The Nintendo Switch connects to the internet through Wi-Fi, so we can expect a certain amount of RF radiation from that alone. The specific amount depends on factors like whether you are using the console in your hands or via the controllers. Using a controller reduces the Wi-Fi RF radiation but introduces Bluetooth RF radiation.

To measure the amount of RF radiation, using an EMF meter is recommended. An EMF meter can test your current configuration – with or without the controllers, how far the console is from the body, the amounts the different controllers emit, etc., and find a good balance between game enjoyment and EMF exposure.

If you don’t already have an EMF meter, the TriField EMF Meter is a good choice as it detects all three types of radiation.

How To Reduce EMF Exposure from Nintendo Switch

If you and your family enjoy playing the Nintendo Switch, it makes sense to limit the amount of EMF exposure while also having fun with the Switch. Here are some ways to reduce exposure:

1. Keep Joy-Cons Connected and Use the Switch as a Handheld

Using the Nintendo Switch as a handheld device reduces the RF radiation emitted by the Bluetooth wireless connection since the Joy-Cons are still attached to the console. Remember to keep the console a minimum of 5 mm away from the body per Nintendo’s advice.

2. Place Nintendo Switch in Airplane Mode Whenever Possible

When playing the Nintendo Switch offline or without Wi-Fi, place the console in airplane mode. This reduces the RF radiation from Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

3. Use a Power Bank Instead of AC Power

Reducing EMF radiation from electric and magnetic fields requires limiting or removing the AC power supply. A power bank can power your console without AC power, then you can switch back to the internal battery in the console.

4. Use Nintendo Switch With An Ethernet Adapter to Hardwire Internet

Using the Nintendo Switch Wired Internet LAN Adapter allows you to hardwire the internet connection to your Nintendo Switch instead of using Wi-Fi. This will help to reduce RF radiation.

5. Unplug the Nintendo Switch Console When It’s Not In Use

Unplugging the console helps reduce electric and magnetic field EMFs created by the console being plugged into the wall outlet. Also, consider turning off your Wi-Fi at night to reduce RF radiation overall in your house.

Nintendo Switch and the Harmful Effects of EMFs

There is no question about the harmful effects of EMFs above a certain point. We know gamma rays damage cells and DNA. This is the ionizing radiation part of the electromagnetic spectrum. The question lies in the low-mid frequency part of the electromagnetic spectrum, the non-ionizing radiation exposure. The Nintendo Switch EMF radiation is at this non-ionizing part of the spectrum.

Ionizing vs. Non-Ionizing EMFs

There are two categories of EMFs:

  • Higher frequency: Ionizing radiation part of the electromagnetic spectrum, which damages cells and DNA directly. Examples are x-rays and gamma rays.
  • Low-mid frequency: Non-ionizing radiation part of the electromagnetic spectrum, which includes extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF) radiation, radio frequency electromagnetic fields (RF) radiation, microwave radiation, infrared radiation (IR), and visible light radiation.

As RF radiation from Wi-Fi, cellular networks, and Bluetooth has become increasingly prominent over the last 20-30 years, the scientific community is trying to keep up.

Microwave Radiation and Biological Mechanisms

Microwave radiation (MW) falls within the non-ionizing portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, and it includes frequencies used by Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technologies. Unlike ionizing radiation, MW radiation does not have enough energy to remove electrons from atoms. However, emerging research indicates that MW radiation may have biological effects that are not solely due to heating.

Proposed Mechanisms of Harm

  1. Oxidative Stress: One proposed mechanism is that MW radiation can lead to the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which cause oxidative stress. This can damage cellular structures, including DNA, proteins, and lipids.
  2. Calcium Ion Efflux: MW radiation may disrupt calcium ion channels in cell membranes, leading to an efflux of calcium ions. This disruption can affect various cellular functions, including signal transduction and neurotransmitter release.
  3. Gene Expression and DNA Damage: Studies have shown changes in gene expression and DNA damage at exposure levels that do not produce significant heating. This suggests that MW radiation can interact with cellular processes in ways that are not yet fully understood.
  4. Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB) Permeability: MW radiation may increase the permeability of the BBB, which protects the brain from harmful substances in the bloodstream. This increased permeability could allow toxins and pathogens to enter the brain more easily, potentially leading to neurological disorders.
  5. Epigenetic Changes: Exposure to MW radiation has been linked to changes in DNA methylation patterns and histone modification, which can alter gene expression without changing the underlying DNA sequence. These epigenetic changes can have long-term effects on health.

Debate Over Biological Effects of Non-Ionizing Radiation

The debate over the biological effects of non-ionizing radiation, such as RF radiation, is a significant one in the scientific community. The U.S. Military’s RadioBio Initiative serves as a compelling example that challenges the traditional viewpoint which holds that non-ionizing radiation’s only significant effect is thermal (heating).

Evolution of Understanding in Science

Science, by its very nature, is an evolving discipline. Historical shifts in scientific understanding, such as the transition from a geocentric to a heliocentric model of the solar system, highlight how new evidence can overturn long-standing beliefs. Similarly, the persistent belief that non-ionizing radiation poses no harm other than through heating is being reconsidered in light of emerging research.

RadioBio Initiative: Exploring New Frontiers

The RadioBio Initiative’s goal to ascertain if electromagnetic signaling between biological systems exists, and to define the nature of this communication, is groundbreaking. This line of inquiry acknowledges that RF radiation might have non-thermal effects on biological systems, potentially influencing cellular processes and gene expression. This is a substantial deviation from the traditional view that only ionizing radiation, which has enough energy to remove tightly bound electrons from atoms, thus creating ions, can cause biological damage.

Mounting Evidence for Non-Thermal Effects

Research has increasingly suggested that non-ionizing RF radiation can have effects beyond mere heating. For instance, studies have shown changes in DNA methylation patterns and gene expression in cells exposed to RF radiation, indicating potential epigenetic impacts. These effects occur at radiation levels that do not produce significant heating, thereby challenging the thermal-only paradigm.

The Analogy to Flat Earth Beliefs

Refusing to acknowledge the mounting evidence of non-thermal effects of RF radiation can be likened to holding onto outdated scientific beliefs, such as the flat Earth theory or the geocentric model. Just as these ideas were eventually replaced by more accurate understandings, the notion that non-ionizing radiation’s only impact is thermal is facing a similar reassessment. Stubbornly clinging to outdated views in the face of new evidence does not align with the principles of scientific inquiry and progress.

Scientific Literature on EMF Exposure

Behavior, memory, and learning are based on the neural integration of memory, linking the peripheral and central nervous systems. This system can be easily affected by toxic exposures, nutritional deficiencies, and hormonal imbalance.

Now, new research links non-ionizing radiofrequency (RF) radiation from wireless devices to neurological harm, both prenatally and postnatally. Studies suggest that using devices like Wi-Fi, cell phones, tablets, and laptops can potentially damage nerve cells in the hippocampus and other areas of the brain.

For instance, a 2021 study published in the International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health found a correlation between higher brain exposure to RF-EMF and lower non-verbal intelligence. Another study in JAMA Pediatrics in 2020 found an association between increased screen-based media use and lower microstructural integrity of brain white matter tracts in preschool-aged children.

Nervous System Effects

The brain and nervous system are very sensitive to microwave radiofrequency radiation. This can cause problems, including damage to parts of the brain important for learning and memory, changes in mood, and issues with nerve cell protection. Children and young adults (up to age 26) are most vulnerable as their brains are rapidly developing.

Recent advancements in RF radiation research, particularly DARPA’s RadioBio initiative and innovative treatments like TheraBionic, along with the Oncomagnetic device’s efficacy in treating gliomas, are transforming our understanding of non-ionizing radiation’s biological effects. These groundbreaking studies and treatments indicate that non-thermal interactions, such as resonance effects, cellular signaling disruption, and immune system modulation, can occur at radiation levels significantly lower than those emitted by cell phones. This evolving understanding challenges the longstanding belief that the primary impact of non-ionizing radiation is thermal.

Reproductive Health Effects

Studies have examined the potential effects of non-ionizing radiation on male reproductive health, particularly concerning sperm quality. A 2018 study concluded that RF-EMF might induce oxidative stress, leading to infertility. Similarly, a 2017 meta-analysis reported a significant decline in sperm counts among men from various regions.

Possible Carcinogen

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified RF EMF radiation as a Group 2B possible human carcinogen. Researchers and scientists are pushing for this classification to be upgraded to a Group 1 known carcinogen.

Biological Mechanisms

DNA and RNA are crucial molecules that direct inheritance, fetal development, metabolism, protein synthesis, immune system functioning, nervous system functioning, and cancer protection. Several studies have found that RF radiation, like that from cell phones and Wi-Fi, can damage DNA and RNA through various mechanisms, including the creation of reactive oxygen species (ROS).

For example, the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) tested two common RF frequencies on rodents in a 2-year assay. They found a significant increase in DNA damage in the frontal cortex of male mice (both modulations), leukocytes of female mice (CDMA only), and hippocampus of male rats (CDMA only). The Ramazzini Institute Study similarly found evidence of carcinogenic activity.

These studies collectively suggest that non-ionizing radiation from cell phones and other wireless devices can have significant biological effects, necessitating caution and further research to fully understand the potential health risks.


The emerging research on RF radiation’s non-thermal effects, both in medical treatments and potential health risks, represents a significant shift in our understanding of electromagnetic fields. As we continue to unravel the complexities of these interactions, our approach to managing and utilizing this technology will need to evolve in tandem with our growing knowledge. Always apply the ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) principle to minimize exposure and protect your health.

By staying informed and taking practical steps to reduce EMF exposure, you can enjoy the benefits of technology while safeguarding your family’s health.

Does the Nintendo Switch Emit EMF Radiation?

Yes, the Nintendo Switch console emits EMF radiation. It emits three types of EMF radiation: radio frequency (RF) radiation, magnetic field radiation, and electric field radiation. Additionally, the Joy-Con Controllers, Pro controller, Nintendo Entertainment System Controller, Nintendo 64 Controller, and SEGA Genesis Control Pad all emit low levels of RF radiation, magnetic field radiation, and electric field radiation as well.

The Nintendo Support page contains this statement:

Nintendo Switch Console: This device should be operated with a minimum distance of 5 mm between the device and your body.

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