As I walk through the airport (cause let’s be real… I don’t go to the gym… the second most common location to see headphones) this topic ALWAYS crosses my mind!
It’s projected that Apple will sell between 50 to 55 million pairs of AirPods this year… which is estimated to double by 2021. That’s a LOT of humans enjoying the convenience of Bluetooth — an easy wireless and hands-free option!
Yet at the same time, some consumers are cautious about wireless headphones. It’s time to break down why you may want to reconsider the EMF radiation emissions they produce and the impact on your health.
But first… the nerdy stuff.
✧ Bluetooth is a form of radio frequency radiation through the air over short distances.
✧ Most wireless bluetooth headphones are considered “Class 2” which can emit energy up to 33 feet.
✧ Radio frequencies are low-energy radiation emissions. While it is true that Bluetooth generally operates at lower intensities than cellular signals (which themselves have been linked to a number of health risks ranging from DNA fragmentation to neurological damage), wireless headphones are designed to be placed directly in the ear, next to the head for long periods of time. 𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐜𝐭 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐄𝐌𝐅 𝐫𝐚𝐝𝐢𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐢𝐬𝐬𝐮𝐞.
✧ Your head is an ideal antenna as it is filled with conductive soft tissue and salty fluid. Your cells communicate through electrochemical signals, which can be interrupted by external electromagnetic fields.
The following are just a few of the health concerns related to EMF exposure to the head according to Dr. Andrew Goldsworthy, a retired lecturer from the Imperial College of London, as described in his publication “The Biological Effects of Weak Electromagnetic Fields”:
❌ Fragmented DNA
- • Short wavelengths, as well as the rapid rise and fall times of the pulses emitted by Bluetooth and cell phones, can damage human cells by throwing off calcium ion signaling and causing ion channels to leak. This cellular disruption can cause irreparable DNA damage, which increases cancer risk. With this exposure close to the head, the blood-brain barrier thins and weakens, causing neuronal damage.
- • Excessive EMF exposure has been thoroughly studied and linked to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) through the same mechanisms. EMFs are purported to create unscheduled calcium leakage into cells, making cells hypersensitive and more likely to transmit spurious signals. This may cloud normal mental activity, triggering random thoughts and contribute to a loss of concentration, which is typical for those with ADHD. Children are thought to be especially at risk, as their brains are still developing.
❌ Headaches & Depression
- • A quick internet browse can turn up many users of wireless devices to almost instantaneous and frequent headaches. Dr. Martin Pall published an article in the Journal of Neuroanatomy to help summarize current research on EMF radiation and its neuropsychiatric effects, including those linked to depression and headaches. He essentially describes the mechanism by which EMFs act and cites numerous reports. Some observations he made include:
>>> EMFs were shown to activate VGCC (voltage-gated calcium ion channels) in the brain and these channels are responsible for neural communication.
>>> Animal studies showed that low level exposure had a wide range of impact.
>>> Genetic studies indicated VCGG cause widespread neuropsychiatric effects.
- •In a review of over 165 clinically relevant studies, a Brazilian study found that cell phone radiation emissions may trigger the onset or worsening of tinnitus. Tinnitus is the perception of noise or ringing in the ears, and affects as much as 20% of the population. According to the Mayo Clinic, tinnitus is not a condition itself, but an underlying condition that can be related to age-related hearing loss, ear injury or circulatory system disorder.
𝐎𝐛𝐯𝐢𝐨𝐮𝐬𝐥𝐲, 𝐧𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐬𝐞 𝐬𝐲𝐦𝐩𝐭𝐨𝐦𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐝𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐫𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐣𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐚 𝐬𝐚𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐩𝐨𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐚𝐥 𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐬 𝐨𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐡.
Seeking to avoid such risks, many people are exploring alternatives to wireless technology.
✅ You can stay relatively safe from EMF emissions by using traditional wired headphones.
✅ EMF-free air tube headphones are another smart alternative to other headphones because they completely eliminate any exposure of EMF radiation to your head.