The new Apple AirPods are the shiny new toy in the tech world right now. They are sleek, compact, and ideal for most busy lifestyles. But are they causing harm to your health unknowingly?
A concern from many people, myself included, is the awareness that new technologies are moving much faster than science, or regulatory agencies, can keep up. So when new products like the Airpod Pro come out, chances are it will be quite sometime before scientists and researchers get the word out about the enormous danger our devices place us in.
We are going to talk about Bluetooth headphones, wired headphones, and all things Airpods in this post.
Do Airpods cause headaches, brain cancer, other negative side effects, or even the ability for the brain to function properly? Do Airpods emit dangerous levels of EMF radiation?
Are there safer alternatives or ways to lower EMF exposure while wearing AirPods? All these questions and more will be answered below! So let’s dig deeper into Airpods specifically when it comes to their safety and potential harm from EMF radiation.
Disclaimer: This Website is not intended for the purpose of providing medical advice. All information, content, and material of this website is for informational purposes only and are not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.
Are Bluetooth Headphones Dangerous?
Are Bluetooth headphones dangerous? When it comes to EMF exposure, yes there is no doubt that Bluetooth headphones are dangerous. The idea of having an EMF radiation emitting device, inside your ear, for long periods of time can negatively impact your health.
So what exactly is Bluetooth? Bluetooth is a form of radio frequency (in the range of 2.4 to 2.485 GHz) that is capable of seamlessly transmitting data, text, music, video, etc. over short distances almost instantly.
One of the main concerns with Bluetooth headphones, like the Airpods is there is no distance between ourselves and the radiation. Which results in the user taking on the radiation in full force.
We have talked frequently about the inverse square law of physics here on Honest EMF. This law states that as we double our distance from a source of radiation, we quarter our exposure to it. This makes distance our number one “friend” when it comes to protecting ourselves. Because of this lack of space, we can never recommend using Bluetooth headphones.
University of Colorado biochemistry professor Dr. Jerry Phillips explained that placing the Airpods in the ear canal exposes the tissues in the head to high amounts of radio-frequency radiation. He said this poses a risk for tumors and other conditions linked to abnormal cell functioning.
Dr. Phillips along with 250 other scientists signed a petition calling for the International Public Health Organization to create stronger guidelines on the wireless devices.
We definitely believe that there are dangers associated with Bluetooth headphones specifically Airpods lets talk a bit more on the specific amount of radiation being emitted by these products.
Do Airpods Expose Wearers to Harmful Amounts of EMF Radiation?
Let’s look into the amount of EMF radiation that Airpods are emitted to figure out if the amount is safe or not. Apple AirPods transmit EMFs all the time, even when you are not using them. The only time they “turn off” is when they are placed in their case.
You would, of course, expect Airpods to emit EMFs while you are talking on your phone, but they are transmitting non-stop even when they are in your ears but you aren’t listening to anything.
We tested a pair of AirPods with our EMF Meter and the results are a bit alarming. When using the reader with a pair of Airpods the levels were up to 3500mV/m. This is 10 times the level we find from a mobile phone call.
Those are some pretty scary findings and definitely more EMF radiation than we would like to be exposed to.
Now let’s move into potential side effects from Airpod use. What kind of harm is coming to the wearers? Headaches? Cancer? Let’s dive in below.
What are the Side Effects of EMF Exposure from Airpods?
We do not know for certain all the side effects from the use of Airpods but many symptoms are like those seen in connection with EHS (Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity).
EHS Disease is an individual’s symptomatic sensitivity to magnetic and electric frequencies, including microwave and radio frequencies (like Airpods).
Since AirPods produce a higher amount of EMF radiation than many products you use, you may notice that you have symptoms while using them even though you don’t while using other EMF emitting devices.
There are many symptoms to keep an eye out for here are some common ones:
- Ringing in ear
- Chronic fatigue
- Eye problems
- Facial pain
- Issues with concentration
- Weakened immune system
With headaches being the most common complaint with Airpod use lets dive into this topic a bit more below.
Do Airpods Cause Headaches?
With the launch of the new Airpod Pro, we are still seeing complaints of headaches with some users. I just took a few minutes scrolling Reddit and I found hundreds of complaints regarding people’s Airpods causing headaches.
One Reddit user wrote: “A few months back I was using my AirPods to no end. Listening to music/podcasts for 4-5 hours at work and continuing to have them in my ears (still connected to the phone) until I get home. Home usage was the same, cooking while listening to podcasts and watching movies and videos right after. With constant use I began to get random headaches like a migraine with a bit of nausea. This continued once-twice a day every day. Sometimes it got so severe that I had to work at home. I felt like my head was throbbing. I never thought that the AirPods were causing any of it until I stopped using them for a day and the headaches lessened. Then I did try to not use them for longer periods and I saw improvement. No more headaches…. That was 5 months ago. I had to return them, convenient as it is I cant sacrifice my mobility with wireless earphones. I totally adored this product but had to give it up.”
Another user wrote: ” I bought AirPods pro yesterday and had them in for around 45 minutes. After I took them out I began to have a really bad headache that I went to bed with. I’ve had it for most of today as well, and it feels like there is pressure built up inside my head. Has anyone else experienced anything like this before?”
With hundreds of concerned customers with complaints of headaches, the question is no longer “if” AirPods can cause headaches but “why”. Most likely the cause is from EMF hypersensitivity and the exposure to radio frequency radiation is triggering this symptom.
Headaches seem to be the most common side effect of using Airpods of other Bluetooth headphones. However, there may be more severe side effects from using these devices. Let’s look into the connection between cancer and Airpods below.
Do Airpods Cause Brain Cancer?
Now more generally speaking, is it possible that Bluetooth earbuds can increase our risk of cancer?
Yes, it is definitely possible that Airpods could cause brain cancer. The World Health Organization (WHO) in the last few years has classified EMF radiation, including Bluetooth, as “possibly carcinogenic”. There are studies cited that show that radio frequency radiation in heavy users could increase the risk of certain brain cancers like glioma and acoustic neuroma by as much as 40%. Of course, they mention that the evidence and research are still accumulating, there is most certainly a strong tie between EMF radiation and various health risks, including certain brain cancers.
There are numerous studies linking cell phones and cancer. Many found there to be an increased risk of developing tumors on the same side of the head that they usually used the phone. So what does this mean for AirPods and other Bluetooth headphones and cancer?
Although there are no studies on Airpods and brain cancer yet we can use these studies to infer a few things.
EMF emitting devices that are used in close contact with our body can alter our DNA and can increase the chances of cancer. Airpods and other Bluetooth headphones emit a dangerous level of EMF radiation and are in extremely close proximity to the brain. From this information and understanding of EMFs, I can say that Airpods probably does increase your chances of brain cancer.
If you want to read more on these studies I will link a few here:
There are some serious concerns when it comes to the potential of cancer and using devices like AirPods. Now what about other functions of the brain being affected by the EMFs from Bluetooth, let’s take a deeper look below.
Effects Of EMF’s from Airpod or Other Bluetooth Devices On The Brain
There are many effects that EMFs have on the brain but lets for a moment just focus on the type of EMF emitted by Bluetooth headphones. This type of EMF radiation is referred to as low-frequency EMF’s (LF-EMF’s).
There are hundreds of studies showing LF-EMF’s have an impact on hormone function, cellular metabolism, DNA transcription and other elements of body health.
Since we have talked about headaches and cancer connected with Airpod headphones lets focus on the effect on the actual brain function. I am going to link the studies from each sentence which shows how these devices are affecting the brain.
A study from 2013 showed LF-EMF’s to have a “devastating effect” on memory consolidation in male and female mice. A negative impact on brain function from these EMFs. (study found here)
fMRI to look at patterns of brain activation in humans exposed to LF-EMF’s. There was “Significant changes” in functional brain activation that were observed in a study from 2015. (study found here)
A study found that exposure to LF-EMF’s shows an increased NMDA receptor activity. This leads to an increase in anxiety behaviors in mice.(study found here)
LF-EMF’s have been found to alter the function of the neurotransmitter nitric oxide and associated enzymes in the brains of mice. (study found here)
Another study we found shows that LF-EMF’s to disrupt the transport of essential nutrients and neurotransmitter-precursors into and throughout the brain. (study found here)
These studies show that LF-EMF’, which Aipords emit, have a significant effect on the function of our brain. This is something that should be taken seriously and hopefully will become more well understood than it currently is.
You may be wondering, wait, how in the world did Apple’s testing not catch these serious effects of their products? When past concerns are brought up, the Apple spokesperson responds by saying something like: “Apple products are always designed and tested to meet or exceed all safety requirements.”
The AirPods’ specific absorption rate (SAR), how much radiation is absorbed by the body, is 0.466 watts per kilogram. They say this is well below the U.S. legal limit of 1.60 w/kg set by the Federal Communications Commission. It’s also below the 1.58 w/kg you would get from holding the iPhone 7 itself against your head or body.
At least that is what they claim their testing showed. Whether they fudged the numbers or aren’t using the AirPods in a way that users actually do we do not think that they are safe for use but we will let you come to your own conclusion.
“What bothers me the most about AirPods is it’s taking cell phones one step deeper into the head. It’s a significant amount of power being delivered even closer to the brain. It just doesn’t make sense.” -Dr Phillips
Now of course not all experts feel this way, there are always two sides to every story, but let’s take a shift in the topic and move on to discuss two kinds of headphones and the risks and benefits below.
The Difference Between Wired and Wireless Bluetooth Headphones.
There are two main kinds of headphones used today, wired and wireless Bluetooth headphones.
Wired Bluetooth headphones are not the “best” option but are certainly the “better” option when compared to wireless headphones. The reason for this is the wire helps to distribute some of the radiation away from the brain.
This style of headphones absolutely emit RF radiation, thus they are not the “best” option when safety is in mind. The audio source sends an electrical signal up the headphones which emits EMF radiation along the way. Once that signal reaches the earbuds, they release sound.
So, there is radiation being emitted throughout the entire wire, and in the headphones. Now let’s talk about wireless Bluetooth headphones.
Bluetooth headphones used to pretty much all be designed the same, two earbuds, one in each ear, connected by a wire. The wire typically hung behind the neck and contained a transmitter in it. The majority of the radiation was emitted from the transmitter, now fast fwd to headphones like the Airpods.
Airpods and other newer Bluetooth earbuds don’t have any wire connecting them and instead go directly in the ear. This means that they are transmitting data back and forth through your brain and in extremely close proximity to your head. This maximizes the amount of radiation you’re exposed to and is the reason why they are so dangerous.
Now that we know about wired and wireless headphones lets discuss if there are any safer options below.
What are Safer Alternatives to Airpods?
If you are looking for safer alternatives for AirPods we suggest moving away from any style Bluetooth headphones and go back to wires, plug in headphones. Specifically, we recommend the use of Air tube headphones.
Air tube Headphones
The Safest headphone options are Air tube Headphones. They are a headphone that is specifically designed to lower your exposure to EMF radiation.
Air tube headphones have a hollow, flexible air tube (hence where the name comes from) that is used to replace the wire from your phone or listening device to the earpiece.
Instead of the speaker being in the earpiece they are typically lower down on the cord below the air tube. The sound then travels from the speaker through the air tube to your ear.
This allows for quality sound to be received without having a speaker directly in your ear, exposing you to much less radiation than a standard pair of headphones.
Want to know more about Air tube headphones? Check out our full post here on Air tube Headphones. They are more expensive than most other air tube headphones but truly are the best air tube headphones available on the market.
The best Air tube headphones are the DefenderSheild EMF Radiation-Free Air Tube Stereo Headphones.
Tips for Airpod Users
Already have a pair of Airpods and you aren’t ready to give them up? Here are two tips for lowering your exposure while still using your Airpods.
Only use your AirPods when you actually listening to something or on a phone call. AirPods are searching for signals whenever they are out of the charging pod. Signal Search= RF Radiation exposure. So wearing your Aipords when you are not listening to anything is increasing your exposure to EMF radiation.
Use only one Airpod at a time, in One Ear vs Both Ears. Both Pods are sending signals and to each other so if you re just using one there isn’t a that RF radiation bouncing back and forth between the two pods.
EMF Absorption/ Dispersion
Since the Airpods go directly in your ear, that limits other EMF protection options like shielding devices that we often recommend. It definitely wouldn’t hurt to look into ways to help absorb the EMF radiation. One simple option, get some plants!
NASA recognizes the air quality benefits of having certain plants in your home. How does it work?
During photosynthesis, plants convert the carbon dioxide we exhale into fresh oxygen and remove toxins from the air we breathe. Here is a list of some no-fuss house plants that will help keep your air clean.
- Spider Plant
- Peace Lilly
- Snake Plant
We recommend at least two plants per 100 square feet in the rooms that you most use your EMF emitting devices like Airpods. Plants with larger leaves, like palms, purify air quicker.
One more simple option is to keep windows open in the room you are using your Airpods in. This will help to disperse the EMFs and keep them from continuing to make contact with your body.
Final Thoughts on Airpods
We have given you a lot of information to process here, about the device that could be pumping more than beats into wearers’ heads.
Unfortunately, there are many articles that claim, that Airpods are safe, that they are not linked to cancer, and have no negative effect on the user’s health. We have shown you that this is just not true.
Airpods can cause EHS symptoms, one of the most common being headaches and possibly even brain cancer. It also can affect the way your brain is functioning like your memory.
Apple and its spokespeople have responded to concerns about the AirPods with assurances that they comply with current safety guidelines but are the guidelines strict enough to actually ensure real safety? We don’t think so.
Like many, you may have assumed that these devices like Airpods must be safe since they have been “tested” but again that is not the case and as we explained above there are even experts who study wireless technologies that have major concerns about their health effects.
We talked a bit about how you can lower your exposure to EMFs whether that is through adjusting your use of your Airpods or using safer products like wired headphones or better yet Air tubes.
At the end of the day it will come down to what you think is the best safest option for you and your family but we hope that you were able to learn more about Apple Airpods from this article.
Have question? We welcome them below and will do our best to answer them!