Radiation. The villainy in our heroes − smartphones, Bluetooth headphones, laptops and more. But is radiation from our smart devices slowly killing us? Many scientists believe so and claim that Bluetooth waves could potentially lead to cancer.
The conversation of the Bluetooth’s harm on human health is back after a recent article by Medium which had a handful of scientists opined. In it, one scientist picked on Apple’s AirPods as an example and said prolonged exposure to the smart earphones could lead to abnormal cell function.
“My concern for AirPods is that their placement in the ear canal exposes tissues in the head to relatively high levels of radio-frequency radiation,” said professor of biochemistry at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Jerry Phillips.
Phillips said it does not limit to AirPods but other Bluetooth devices as well, adding that the radiation could lead to developing tumours and other conditions associated with abnormal cell functioning.
According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, electromagnetic field’s (EMF) “are invisible areas of energy, often referred to as radiation, that are associated with the use of electrical power and various forms of natural and man-made lighting.”
Bluetooth is a form of non-ionizing EMF which is “generally perceived as harmless to humans” while ionizing EMF is “high-level radiation which has the potential for cellular and DNA damage.”
Phillips is one of nearly 250 researchers from over 40 countries to have signed a petition to the United Nations and the World Health Organization expressing “serious concern” about the non-ionizing EMF.
The petition cited “increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being in humans” as grievous health implications Bluetooth devices can do to us.
Scientists started the petition back in May 2011 and it was revised on January 1, 2019, Harpers Bazaar wrote. The petition also pointed towards the International Agency for Research on Cancer which once published EMFs are “possibly carcinogenic” to humans.
Due to the overwhelming concern, Apple spokespeople have cleared the air and confirmed that its AirPods do comply with safety guidelines in the year the device was launched (2016).
Apple is the first giant smartphone company to move away from conventional headphone jacks and introduced the highly intuitive AirPods as the new alternative. The move changed the landscape of music-listening on the go and led other tech giants, such as Samsung and Google, to follow suit. Despite being released three years ago, it is still widely considered as one of the smartest earphones in the market − which is not a good piece of news according to this scientist.
Professor emeritus of biochemistry at Washington State University, Martin Pall pointed out that the smarter a device, the higher health risks it poses. He said it is not just the intensity of the EMFs that determine the possible health threat, it is also the pulses that EMFs produce.
EMFs’ pulses are compressed bursts of electromagnetic energy that wireless devices use to communicate.
“We have repeated studies that clearly show that pulsed EMFs are, in most cases, much more biologically active than are non-pulsed EMFs of the same average intensity,” Pall said. “All wireless communication devices communicate, at least in part, via pulsation, and the smarter they are, the more they pulse.”
The author of “Wi-Fi is an important threat to human health” review (2018) said health authorities turn a blind eye on this factor. “The so-called safety guidelines do not predict biological effects,” Pall added.
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