Scientists say Apple AirPods and other wireless headphones may be linked to cancer

“Scientists are growing increasingly concerned over the potential health risks of wireless technologies which, they say, national and international regulations ‘fail’ to limit,” Natalie Rahhal reports for The Daily Mail. “Apple’s wireless AirPods, for example, ‘communicate with one another using a magnetic induction field, a variable magnetic field [one] sends through your brain to communicate with the other,’ explains Dr. Joel Moskowitz. Dr. Moskowitz, a University of California, Berkeley community health professor who focuses on cell phone exposures, says there isn’t even research on what this could do to the brain yet, let alone regulations to limit the potential effects. ‘But I couldn’t imagine it’s all that great for you,’ he says.”

“A petition warning that microwave radiation from many popular wireless technologies may pose health risks has gathered 250 signatures,” Rahhal reports. “While the scientific jury is still out on the whether or not particular devices can cause cancer, animal studies on the kind of radiofrequency radiation that they emit – which is used in Bluetooth, cellular and wifi transmissions – has suggested a link to cancer.”

Apple AirPods
Apple AirPods

“Now, scientists calling for more oversight and warnings for all manner of radiowave-based technologies are particularly concerned over the intensity and proximity of Bluetooth radiation to the human ear canal and brain,” Rahhal reports. “‘Since Bluetooth tends to be low-intensity it could open the blood-brain barrier, which evolved to keep large molecules out of the brain,’ explains Dr. Moskowitz. The concern there is ‘probably more neurological disorders and diseases as opposed to cancer,’ he adds.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered by researchers before the safety question can be answered conclusively.

The full text of the “International EMF Scientist Appeal” is here.

Are Apple’s AirPods and other bluetooth headphones safe? – March 7, 2019


  1. Article states “since Bluetooth tends to be low-intensity it could open the blood-brain barrier”. This is false. It is high intensity radio frequencies (x-ray, gamma ray) that are of concern for human health.

      1. It also isn’t all that hard to get 200+ “we are concerned” signatures, even on a topic like this.

        I had a conversation a few years ago on non-I RF from a supposed ‘expert’ who claimed that ALL fractional heating was always bad and would always cause cancer, etc, etc…whereupon I pointed out to them that if what they claimed were true, it was a “Okay, So What?” because I then pointed out that if what they claimed was true, it didn’t form a justified basis to stop because as per the legal standard of ‘Minimal Risk’, the General Public chooses to accept that risk every time that they take a hot shower in their bathroom.

        Suffice to say that the conversation went downhill from there.

    1. By all means, the effects should be investigated. But be aware that even without blutooth devices you are bathed in radiation all the time, from microwaves to x-rays. Some of it useful (we use certain frequency ranges to see) and some harmful (ever got a sunburn?). Most of it comes from the sun, stars, natural radiation from stones (if you are afraid of natural radiation then stay away from mountains).

      But to claim something ridiculous like “since Bluetooth tends to be low-frequency it could open the blood-brain barrier” is quackery of the highest order. I would LOVE to see how he justifies the claim.

      1. The World Health Organisation, which has examined the topic in depth, says: “In the area of biological effects and medical applications of non-ionizing radiation approximately 25,000 articles have been published over the past 30 years. Despite the feeling of some people that more research needs to be done, scientific knowledge in this area is now more extensive than for most chemicals. Based on a recent in-depth review of the scientific literature, the WHO concluded that current evidence does not confirm the existence of any health consequences from exposure to low-level electromagnetic fields. However, some gaps in knowledge about biological effects exist and need further research.”

  2. Thevarticle seems confused.

    Is the perceived problem the magnetic radiation used to allow the left and right earbuds to communicate, or is the concern about the Bluetooth low power radio signals used to communicate with the player?

    The reference to studies on animals solely investigated radio signals and I’m not aware of any convincing proof of any study showing a real link to cancer in humans.

    1. it only took a few decades to discover that RoundUp herbicide is linked to Parkinson’s disease. the outcome of that discovery is still stuck in legal limbo for obvious reasons. Monsanto/Bayer doesn’t want to pay for Parkinsons care, they want farmers to suck it up like good little republicans.

      Unfortunately that’s how the right operates. corporate profits are more important than health to them. Anything that gets in the way of selling more units will be buried under a pile of FUD spread by right wing media denying any possibility that any threat exists. But look who funds the anti-science FUD. Corporations.

      If Monsanto was innocent, it would welcome the scientific process.

      But then, you’d release your tax returns as a candidate for public office if you didn’t have anything to hide too. Funny how keeping dark secrets is okay with one team. Using science is not how they do business.

      1. There’s a lot of truth in what you say. Glyphosate in RoundUp is linked to several maladies in otherwise healthy humans, in helpful insects, and in edible plants. While walking across the lawn at UCLA, I stopped to ask a man who was spraying a clear liquid on dandelions: “Could you show me the label so I can read the formulation?” He did. It was RoundUp. He said that it’s harmless and that it disperses quickly. I later learned that it does not; It accumulates. It is in drugs, cotton, tampons, vaccines, gel caps as well as almost all processed foods. Good to reflect on the fact that we did not ask for Glyphosate; The corporation imposed its value on the general public. It’s what happens when the corporation has constitutional rights where its money is protected speech.

        Here’s a feel good bad story of a man who beat Monsanto in Court:

      2. for you to call this a right wing, GOP cover up is laughable. When will you all realize they are just wings of the same bird. The Left is power hungry and some of the richest people in the world. Check out who the major share holders are in the companies you are slamming. They suck and could care less about the collateral damage…us.

  3. In my neighborhood there are dozens of rooftop cellular antennas that certainly operate 24/7/365. I’m sure they’re throwing off plenty of radiation in certain frequencies. It will only get worse when 5G becomes a common standard as it requires even more cellular towers.

    However, the best these people could do is to call blame to Apple’s iPods for causing cancer. There are so many causes of cancer in our environment it’s difficult to single out which ones are the worst for humanity. This is a nation that set off hundreds of nuclear explosions over the last century. Those nuclear explosions must have irradiated most of the U.S. Of course, it was alright because we were supposedly just protecting ourselves from foreign enemies.

    Maybe we should just return to the Stone Age and get rid of all our modern tech. I don’t know why these people always have to mention Apple when something goes wrong. Apple is just one out of hundreds of tech companies basically working with the same type of tech. It’s unlikely most consumers will be giving up their smartphones anytime soon so it looks as though there will be a lot of people getting cancer.

      1. I’m not sure that would work in this case unless you can place the shielding between the 2 earbuds on opposite sides of the head and still retain audio clarity and the devices’ connection to the source audio signal.

  4. If I understand this correctly, the concern is that since wireless earbud devices ‘talk’ to each other there is a relatively constant signal passing along the shortest path (through the head) and affecting brain chemistry and possibly leading to cancer among other possible problems.

  5. I don’t know how much the airpods communicate with each other, but I imagine that to extend battery life that after establishing the link they would spend most of their time receiving (less energy required) and only sending (more energy required) when necessary. Anybody actually know how this works?

  6. I wonder about those radar speed signs in neighborhoods. Momentary exposure while in a moving vehicle is not a big deal, but what if you’re bedroom faces the street?

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