byÂ Paul Resnikoff
Apple says the AirPod satisfies FCC requirements for close-range radiation levels. Â But a UC Berkeley scientist is now warning that AirPods might result in irreversible brain damage, including an erosion of the blood-brain barrier.
As wireless headphone sales start to surge, serious concerns over close-range radiation effects and possible brain damage are surfacing. Â Those concerns are now hitting overdrive as Apple prepares the release of the AirPod, which promise a torrent of non-stop wireless communications just millimeters from the brain.
â€˜You are putting a microwave-emitting device next to your brain.â€™
Those AirPods, which complement a wireless-only iPhone 7, could shift users from traditional earbud-based voice communications and listening towards Bluetooth-powered communication and audio. Â That could pose serious, long-term dangers, with the AirPod stuffing high-tech radiation right into your ear.
Moskowitz warned of possible erosion of the blood-brain barrier, which is critical for keeping toxins out of the brain.
But isnâ€™t Bluetooth safe? Â Maybe, maybe not. Â â€œItâ€™s like we keep rediscovering that Bluetooth is harmful and trying to forget it because we donâ€™t know how to handle it from a policy standpoint,â€ Moskowitz continued. Â â€œAlthough we donâ€™t know the long-term risks from using Bluetooth devices, why would anyone insert microwave-emitting devices in their ears near their brain when there are safer ways to use a cell phone?
â€˜Essentially I recommend using corded headsets or hands-free use of cell phones, not wireless ear buds.â€™
Sticking with wired headphones and earbudsÂ will become increasingly more difficult after the iPhone 7 is released. Â Users that want to stay wired will be forced to patch through the main Lightning port, with the 3.5mm jack now eliminated. Â That complicates charging and may require adapters,Â though users can always stick with the iPhone 6 or buy an Android.Â Looking ahead, the question is whether other manufacturers like Samsung follow suit, making it increasingly difficult to avoid wireless smartphone radiation.