Around 250 scientists from more than 40 countries have signed a petition to the United Nations and WHO warning against potential health risks such as cancer associated with the use of popular wireless technologies due to microwave radiation. The popular AirPods connect wirelessly to a user's phone or computer via Bluetooth technology.
A Medium article published last week poses the question, "Are AirPods and Other Bluetooth Headphones Safe?".
The technology uses electromagnetic frequency (EMF) radio waves to transmit data, and its use so close to a user's inner skull is considered risky.
But the new petitions' authors warn that even these guidelines could be risky - and much more research is needed.
The white toothbrush-heads of Apple's Airpods have become an iconic new technology, and are to be seen everywhere this year, having sold 28 million worldwide. Scientists are warning that microwave radiation from many popular wireless technologies could pose serious health risks, this petition has quickly collected 250 signatures.
The petition warns against all types of radio frequency radiation, including WiFi, cellular data, and Bluetooth devices.
The most obvious and well-established risk of radiowaves is that, at high levels, they can generate heat and cause burns.
"Over 1 billion iPhone users worldwide offer great potential growth opportunities for AirPods", TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo wrote in a research note released a year ago. Bluetooth technology uses low-power radio waves. But: the animals were exposed to in experiments of high-frequency radiation, were in above-average mass of genetic, neurological, and reproductive damage.
EMF is a form of radiowave similar to - but not as powerful or risky as - X-rays or UV.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer has declared electromagenetic field radiation a possible carcinogen.
The WHO has guidelines for what it considers to be a healthy level of EMF but the new petition claims that more research is needed.
The article quotes Jerry Phillips, Ph.D., a professor of biochemistry at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, who says he's concerned about AirPods because "their placement in the ear canal exposes tissues in the head to relatively high levels of radio-frequency radiation".
The petition signed by the scientists notes that children are more vulnerable to the effects of EMF.
"By not taking action, the WHO is failing to fulfil its role as the preeminent global public health agency".
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