While there is some research that suggests the electromagnetic fields given off by electric blankets may be linked to cancer, the World Health Organization does not fully support this research due to the fact that emissions are extremely low, and there are no other major health risks associated with using an electric blanket. The far greater risk is fire, as damaged wiring can cause sparks.
Despite the evidence of the harmful nature of electromagnetic fields being questionable, the World Health Organization does recommend that pregnant women avoid using electric blankets to be on the safe side.
Burns are also a potential danger, as blankets that are left on for long periods of time can reach high temperatures. This can cause severe burning on exposed skin.
Fire caused by electric blankets is very common, and is by far the greatest potential health risk involved when using them.
Fire risk can be avoided in a number of ways. Firstly, making sure the blanket is in good condition is important. It can often be better to replace an old blanket where appropriate. Wires can fray easily, leading to a fire hazard, so electric blankets should not be folded, dry cleaned or put in a washing machine at any time.
Burns and fire risk can also be avoided by ensuring the blanket is turned off when not in use.