Do AirPods cause cancer?

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AirPods, which retail for $160, are Apple’s first wireless earbud product. (Photo/Apple)

Just four weeks ago, more than 200 researchers and scientists from more than 40 countries all over the world supposedly signed a petition to the United Nations and the World Health Organization to voice their serious concerns about the use of Apple AirPods. These petitioners agreed that the Bluetooth technology in the AirPods and the emission of radio waves in the ears could pose a cancer risk, with their chief concern being the radioactive waves that would easily absorb into ear tissue.

A professor of biochemistry, Jerry Phillips from the University of Colorado Springs, suggested that the exposure could also cause genetic or neurological damage. “My concern for AirPods is that their placement in the ear canal exposes tissues in the head to relatively high levels of radiofrequency radiation,” he said. Apple had no response to these concerns. The company previously stated that there was no concern of exposure and all the safety requirements of AirPods were met.

Many agree with the cancer risk and Bluetooth-created radioactive exposure but limit the negative effects to AirPods because of their close proximity to the ear. Other types of Bluetooth pose less of a risk because they are in farther proximity from tissue and emit smaller amounts of radiation then AirPods. Yet just a few days ago this theory changed. There is no proof suggesting that a petition was signed at all. Even if it weren’t, research from a few days ago suggests there is minimal damage from AirPods. The radiation from a phone has the same risks as that of AirPod Bluetooth.  

Scientists believe that the radiation is much more significant in AirPods than regular earbuds. They still wonder how strong the effects of the radio waves are and don’t yet know whether AirPods should no longer be sold or just perform minimal damage to the ear. Researchers debate whether Bluetooth has enough radiation to cause damage or not. Much is still unknown about its risks.

Alyssa Herzbrun is a junior and second-year staffer of the Patriot Post at American Heritage. She currently edits the opinion section of the newspaper and is an avid reader. On the weekends, Alyssa loves to volunteer at places like Broward Outreach Center, Ronald McDonald House and Feeding South Florida. Over the summer she read a book every day but finds school interfering with her reading streak. She also loves to clog (not the toilet but the dance). Alyssa is looking for a great year and hopes to meet many opinionated people.

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