Are AirPods Safe for Your Brain?

In early September, Apple announced their new 3rd Generation of AirPod Pros with updated features. These features include up to six hours of listening time with one charge and up to thirty hours of total listening time with a full charge of the case. But, how dangerous are these Airpods (and other Bluetooth Headphones) to the human body? 

A study published in the journal Bioelectromagnetics sheds new light on the radiation exposure associated with Apple’s popular AirPods, which includes how the Bluetooth devices compare to the brain-zapping effects of cell phones. While a small number of studies have explored this issue in the past, they typically failed to account for key variables that could skew the results. The new research, however, was able to take these factors into account. The conclusions they reached about the radiation emitted by AirPods compared to other common sources of EMF radiation like cell phones and WiFi routers was startling.

Related Source: AirPods: Are Apple’s New Wireless Earbuds Safe?

What is EMF?

Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) are a form of radiation that comes from electronic devices and Wi-Fi. It is found in the air, wires, and many other sources. A new study suggests that the Airpod Pros emit as much radiation as mobile phones. The Apple Airpod Pros have an even higher EMF than the original Apple Airpods because they have more powerful processors, more advanced Bluetooth technology, and a better-quality microphone. 

With Apple’s AirPods, the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), which is a measure of the body’s maximum exposure to microwave radiation, exceeds that of many smart phones. Because many people use them for extended periods of time to listen to music or podcasts, the radiation exposure could be substantial. With that being said, do you worry about EMF radiation and how it affects your brain or just think it's nothing to worry about?

What are AirPods made of, exactly?

AirPods are small, white earpieces that are covered in silicone. It’s possible that Apple uses a mix of different materials in its silicone ear tips, and because of this, some people who use these airpods have experienced an allergic reaction when using them. If you have an allergic reaction, it can lead to an itchy ear or ear canal and even swelling and inflammation inside of your ear. So, not only are users exposed to the radiation emitted from this small device - but they can also subject themselves to a possible allergic reaction. Is it worth using them?

Related Source: Are You Allergic to Your AirPods Pro? Find Out All You Need to Know


What do scientists think about AirPod safety?

Many people are anxious about the safety of Apple Airpods after a recent study reported that they leak EMF radiation. The scientists concluded that - while the level of radiation leaks is still quite low - there is evidence to show that it can affect the brain. The placement of Airpods is a major concern to some health experts. 

Joel M. Moskowitz, PhD, the director of the Center for Family and Community Health at University of California, Berkeley, explains that although there’s been substantial research on the health risks associated with EMFs, there’s been very little on the safety of long-term radiation exposure from Bluetooth or wireless headphones. “Because of the proximity of the Bluetooth devices — particularly the wireless headsets or earpieces to the body or the head — the actual exposure to the head is only maybe half as much or a third as much as you might get from your cell phone,” Moskowitz explained.

While we currently don’t know the exact health risks associated with chronic use of in-ear wireless earbuds, scientists are beginning to understand the potential harm they may cause. Since smartphones have become our portal to almost all of our personal data, it's worth paying attention to what could happen in the future with new technologies, including the evolving accessories such as Wireless Headphones. 

Related Source: Are Bluetooth Headphones Dangerous? Here’s What Experts Think

How to mitigate EMF exposure from Wireless Headphones

If you're considering purchasing wireless headphones, there are some precautions you can take to minimize your exposure to their radiation. Though it is nearly impossible to completely avoid radiation, we can all take a few steps to reduce the amount we’re exposed to it on a regular basis.

  • It’s best to maintain some distance between you and the phone or headphones by using things like the speaker function.
  • Keep your phone calls short and don’t keep your wireless headphones in your ear when you are not using them.
  • Invest in an airtube wired headset that has hollow tubing which will still transmit the sound waves and not the radiation.  
  • Children are still developing and are more sensitive to radiation. Because they are at a higher risk due to their small heads and thinner skulls, they should also follow these guidelines as well.