Bluetooth wireless headphones cause cancer

Bluetooth headphones such as AirPods can allegedly cause cancer

By Andreas Filbig | March 13, 2019, 5:31 p.m.

Apple has already sold over 44 million copies of its AirPods. Other manufacturers such as Samsung also offer wireless Bluetooth headphones directly to their smartphones in order to reach a large audience. However, scientists warn of the devices!

Apple's AirPods hit the market in 2016 and initially looked strange. In the meantime, most of them have got used to the sight of headphones that were once decried as “toothbrush heads”. Perhaps in a few years classic in-ear headphones with cables will be a thing of the past. As early as 2015, a year earlier, around 200 scientists made an appeal to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations (UN) to draw attention to the possible dangers of Bluetooth radiation. This appeal was renewed at the beginning of 2019.

Warning of electromagnetic fields

Specifically, the appeal deals with the effects of non-ionized electromagnetic fields (EMF), which are caused, for example, by Bluetooth, WLAN and antenna radiation. Based on several studies, the experts have "serious concerns" about the increasing number of technical devices in this area. According to the studies, EMFs could have negative effects on living organisms well below the international guidelines. The scientists cite an increased risk of cancer, cellular stress, an increase in harmful free radicals in the body, genetic damage and various neurological disorders as possible consequences. According to the appeal, children and pregnant women in particular must be protected.

More protection wanted for citizens

As specific demands, the appeal also considers an adjustment of the guide values ​​to be necessary and calls on the EU and WHO to encourage device manufacturers to develop safe technologies. In addition, citizens should also be better informed about possible risks. According to the appeal, doctors should also be better trained in this area and learn how to treat patients who are particularly sensitive to radiation. Finally, the appeal aims at so-called “white zones”. These are areas in which no electromagnetic radiation should be present.

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Cell phone radiation and cancer in rats: Federal Office for Radiation Protection contradicts study

Scientists are still trying to finally clarify whether radiation - from cell phones or Bluetooth headphones - is actually harmful to health. A study published in 2018 indicated that cell phone radiation was carcinogenic. However, the test subjects were not humans, but rats and mice that had been permanently exposed to 2G and 3G radiation for two years. At the end of the test period, the researchers found evidence of the development of tumors in the heart and brain in the male rats. There was no evidence of cancer in the female rats or the mice.

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For several reasons, however, the results of the study cannot be transferred to humans, the Federal Office for Radiation Protection said in a detailed statement. The radiation dose used is well above the limit values ​​and could therefore have led to a warming effect in the animals. This means that it is not the radiation per se that is to blame for the rats' illnesses, but the stress caused by heat exposure. However, the BfS also expressly knows that there are no clear results on the risk of cell phone and Bluetooth radiation. Basically, the daily dose of cell phone radiation should be reduced to a minimum.

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