Health and Wellbeing

So, Do Wireless Bluetooth Headphones Actually Pose Health Risks?


Wireless Bluetooth headphones are all the rage with the trendy lot of today, but there has recently been an equal amount of  apprehensions about the side effects and health hazards of these technological masterpieces. Of late the reported hazardous radiations that this devices emit have been a matter of grave concern for the users. According to health experts and a number of researches , airpods and wireless Bluetooth devices could be a potential source of cancer, as they emit radiations directly into your brain.

But the opinion of other experts appears to be different, as many say the claims of health hazards are exaggerated.

Jerry Phillips, a PhD professor of biochemistry at the University of Colorado, told a foreign media agency that airpods could be fatal because “their placement in the ear canal exposes tissues in the head to relatively high levels of radio-frequency radiation”.

The article that quoted him also pinpointed that Philips was not the only expert concerned about the side effects of wireless Bluetooth devices but a petition was signed back in 2015 in relation to the increasing use of such devices. More than 50 researchers from over 40 countries signed the petition to the United Nations and the World Health Organization. However, the petition did not mention airpods or wireless headphones as a direct threat to human health but called for further studies on the potential risks posed by non-ionizing electromagnetic field (EMF) technology that is used in Bluetooth devices.

Beg To Differ

Ken Foster, a professor of bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania, said he was not ready to buy the hype created by experts about earbuds. “What’s the news here? Someone’s trying to play the media by resurrecting this petition,” he added. Moreover, Foster also pinpointed that airpod antennas received and transmitted the radio waves and they were not placed inside the ear canal but were present outside the ear, extending downwards just below the ear.

Additionally, Bluetooth devices emitted fewer radiations than mobile phones, almost one-tenth or less, per the details shared by Foster . “If you also use a cell phone on a daily basis, it’s bizarre to worry about the hazards of these earphones,” he added. Using wireless devices for hours to listen to music or podcasts, would add up to the exposure and would be harmful. However, if these devices were used strictly for conversations, the user would get less exposure, as compared to mobile phones that were placed more closely to the head, Foster added.

Last year, the state of California issued suggestions for people who wanted to reduce their exposure to radiations emitted by cell phones. These guidelines stated that there was no definitive link between radio frequency energy and health risks and that a few experiments and studies had suggested long-term use of cellphones could be linked with cancers and other health-related risks. Some of the guidelines mentioned in the directives included keeping phones away from the body when not in use, keeping them at a distance from bed while sleeping and using headphones to make phone calls.

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