If you have a modern iPhone or iPad that runs iOS 10 or later, it probably came with a set of AirPods. This Apple accessory is a set of earphones. This new design of the AirPod is preferred by many because it is sleek and sophisticated compared to traditional headphones. This is largely because they are wireless.
Since the release of the AirPod in 2016, there has been a debate about how safe they are and how much electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation they emit.
Airpods do emit a lot of electromagnetic radiation, and by wearing this device in your ears, you expose yourself to the maximum amount of radiation that can be emitted by this device.
Increased use of wireless headphones may have some negative effects on the brain because they are so close to the brain when in use. The intensity of radiation emitted by the AirPods is similar to the radiation emitted by microwaves or any Bluetooth device and can cause brain damage.
Airpods connect to your device through a Bluetooth device which transmits radio waves wirelessly using a frequency band of between 2.4 to 2.48 GHz. It can also connect to your device through Wi-Fi and cellular networks.
Using the Apple AirPod technology close to your brain and in close contact to your body has various associated dangers. Maintaining a close distance to an EMF source will expose you to a lot of EMF radiation and AirPods are no exception.
You can also use AirPods with your latest Apple Watch and Mac wireless devices. The more wireless devices you use, the more you will increase the level of EMF exposure to your body.
AirPods emit radiation similar to that emitted by other wireless devices. Some studies show that low-intensity radiation can cross the blood-brain barrier and contribute to brain cancer, autism and dementia.
Other wireless devices like microwaves, Wi-Fi, and cell phones use the same frequency range as the AirPods.
EMF Levels of Exposure
AirPods have a specific absorption rate (SAR) of around 0.466 Watts per kilogram (W/kg), which is below US Federal Communication Commission Regulatory limits of 1.60 W/kg. iPhone 7 has a SAR of about 1.58 W/kg against your body. When the phone is actively broadcasting, it uses both Wi-Fi and LTE radio waves.
The level of exposure to EMF when making video calls with an iPhone device is below 300 millivolts per meter (mV/m). The level of EMF exposure when receiving video calls via the Apple AirPod is significantly higher; 3500 mV/m, which is 10 times higher compared to making a normal mobile call.
Therefore, when using your AirPod to receive a call, you will be exposed to higher EMF radiation compared to holding the phone next to your ears to receive the call.
You can read more on the rate of exposure in terms of distance and time.
The Bluetooth antenna attached to the AirPod is left hanging outside. Since the antenna is not inserted inside your ear canal, it can run parallel to the battery and microphones on the outer part of the AirPod.
Furthermore, when you turn on your Wi-Fi tool on your phone to search for available networks, you will be exposed to more EMF radiation than when using AirPod when it is not searching. There are also other devices that have a strong EMF source and they expose you to higher amounts of radiation on a regular basis.
What Kind of Radiation Do AirPods Emit?
AirPod devices keep on transmitting EMF all the time, even when you’re not listening to music or using them actively. They transmit Bluetooth EMF while on a phone call or listening to music, but also keep on transmitting even when you’re doing nothing. These devices are constantly transmitting unless you switch them off.
Airpods generate non-ionizing radio frequency (RF) radiation similar to that used by mobile phones. Since the devices use Bluetooth technology to connect to the mobile device, they also emit Bluetooth radiation.
Having Bluetooth radio frequency in your ear for many hours may result in some health issues.
AirPod Radiation Dangers
There are a lot of dangers to using wireless earphones like the AirPod, particularly because it is worn in the ear canal. The dangers are caused by electromagnetic radiation from the AirPod going directly into your body, and they include:
1. Damage to the brain cells
Putting the AirPod in your ear canal will expose your brain tissue to a high amount of radio frequency radiation (RFR). The emitted frequencies lead to impairment of brain cells increasing the risk of brain tumors and other health conditions that are linked to abnormal cell functioning.
2. Damage to the DNA of body cells
A study was undertaken by Verum Research group in Germany about the effects of radiation on animals and in people. It indicated that the frequencies emitted not only by AirPods, but also other wireless devices, damages your DNA. This makes it hard for the cells to repair any DNA breaks resulting in more damage to the cells. This damage can later influence the growth of cancerous cells.
3. Increased growth of Leukemia cells
Studies show that exposure to radio frequencies of about 900 mHz on a daily basis, or continuously for 48 hours, leads to the replication of Leukemia cells.
4. Damage to tissue
Though EMF radiation from AirPods has a low frequency, if it is used for hours continuously, the radio frequency radiation emitted can damage the ear tissue. The intense heat generated by the device damages body tissue and molecules.
How to Protect Yourself from EMF Radiation Emitted by Airpods
Each day you are exposed to a lot of EMF radiation not only from AirPods but also from other devices, especially those using wireless technologies. In the modern world, we breathe and sleep technology, therefore, it is hard to avoid the use of these technological devices.
Because these devices have become part of our daily life, it is hard to imagine getting rid of them. Don’t worry, there are ways to reduce your level of exposure to EMF radiation. Some of the strategies you can use to reduce your exposure rate include:
1. Using wired headphones
You can reduce the amount of your exposure from wireless AirPods, internet connections, and other wireless devices by using a wired connection where possible. The amount of radiation emitted by devices connected via cables is very low compared to radiation from devices connected wirelessly.
If you also have a wireless router, you should keep it away from where you spend most of your time, and consider switching it off at night.
2. Clear your room of devices
We spend most of our time in bed so you should ensure only necessary electronic gadgets are kept in your room. Keeping your room gadget free is one way of reducing the level of EMF radiation exposure from various devices.
If you need to have the devices in your room, turn them off. You can also put your cell phone in Airplane mode.
3. Remove AirPods from ears when not in use
If you’re not using the AirPod, remove it from your ears. Don’t keep it plugged in your ear canal if not in use since it keeps on transmitting frequencies as it awaits for the next connection.
You can stop using your AirPod or other types of earphones completely and use the phone held up to your ear to send and receive calls. If you’re making long calls with the phone, keep shifting the phone from one ear to the other. The phone should not be held to the head for a long period so as to avoid prolonged exposure. To really minimize your exposure, use the speaker feature on your phone so that you don’t have to hold it up to your head at all.
4. Receive calls in open places, avoid receiving in tight areas
Avoid receiving calls in tight areas like inside an elevator, on trains and buses and other tight spaces. This is because the signals have nowhere to go and will intersect with whatever is nearest to them and bounce back.
5. Buy AirPods with a low SAR rating
When buying the AirPod, you should go for the one which has the lowest SAR rating. The SAR rating is used to measure the magnetic field being absorbed by the body.
6. Avoid making calls when the phone has a low battery
If the iPhone has only one bar, avoid receiving and making calls since the amount of radiation emitted during that low battery period is very high. You can use texting to minimize exposure or wait until your phone is charged. If you have to receive or make a call, use the phone speakers or a wired headset instead of AirPod.
Examples of AirPods with Low SAR
Apple AirPod Pro
The Apple wireless AirPod enables automatic connection to your iPhone or Tablet. It is easy to setup and comes with a Qi compatible wireless charging case. It provides more than 24 hours battery life per charge.
Though the AirPods are compatible with Qi standard chargers, you can also charge the case with a lightning connector.
AirPod Pro is highly customizable with tapered silicone tips that adjust to fit your ears. They also have an active noise cancellation feature that detects noise in or outside the ear and counters it with anti-noise for increased sound quality.
Using Apple AirPod wireless earphones exposes you to high levels of EMF radiation. These devices are always transmitting even when you’re not listening to music or making phone calls. Using these devices increases the amount of radiation you are exposed to because they are used directly in the ear canal and so close to the brain. They should be used with a lot of caution.
It is believed that there is some correlation between the use of wireless headphones and other wireless devices. Some of the correlations include damage to brain cells, DNA impacts and also the growth of Leukemia and other cancer cells.
You can lower your risk of exposure by removing the AirPods from your ears when not in use. Switch them off completely so that they are not receiving or transmitting signals.
You can also use wired headphones instead of the wireless AirPod to minimize the risk of exposure. This will prevent damage to your body tissues since they emit the lowest amount of EMF frequencies directly to your ear canal than any other kind of earphone.
The Apple AirPod is an innovative convenient device that makes using your iPhone or iPad easy to use since there are no wires. Balance that convenience with caution about exposure to EMF radiation.