Are wireless earphones dangerous?

Researchers sound the alarm: How dangerous are my Bluetooth headphones?

Updated

In a petition, 250 scientists sound the alarm: headphones could cause cancer. What are the consequences of listening to music with Airpods and Co.?

Bluetooth devices like Apple's Airpods could cause cancer. That's what Joel Moskowitz, who conducts research at the University of California, says. There is still no detailed research, he told the Daily Mail. "But I can't imagine that that's good for us." Some studies have shown that radiation in the frequency range of Bluetooth can cause cancer in animals, according to the newspaper.

There is no scientific proof of cancer caused by Bluetooth in humans. Moskowitz is not just about Bluetooth. WLAN and cell phone beams that use similar frequency ranges have also come into focus. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified electromagnetic fields as potentially carcinogenic.

Cancer risks, genetic and memory damage?

Moskowitz and 250 other scientists from all over the world have submitted a petition to the UN (20 Minuten reported). Among other things, they call for more independent research to reduce radiation and better protection of the population.

"We have great concerns about the increasing exposure to electromagnetic radiation," says the text. Scientific studies have shown that radiation can lead to increased cancer risks, genetic damage or damage to memory. However, these conclusions are not a consensus in the scientific community. Biotechnology professor Kenneth Forster, for example, spoke to “The Sun” of “cherry picking” and “arbitrary selection of data” to prove alleged links to diseases.

Swiss experts also disagree. The radiation from Bluetooth headphones is small and harmless, says Martin Röösli, Professor of Environmental Epidemiology. It is “dangerous”, says Martin Zahnd, board member of the Association for Protection against Radiation. This is how the experts argue:

Martin Röösli, epidemiologist

«Bluetooth from hands-free systems, for example, emits very little. The loads on Bluetooth headphones are several thousand times smaller. There is no scientific argument that not taking it provides additional health protection. Devices that comply with the limit values ​​have so far not shown any health effects. Certain biological effects were observed at high levels of exposure. These can occur if you have a cell phone with poor connection quality on your head. It has not yet been proven whether this will lead to a health problem in the long term. Nevertheless, with regard to these high exposures, it can make sense from a precautionary perspective to avoid such situations. »

Martin Zahnd, Association for Protection against Radiation

“Bluetooth devices have a range of up to 100 meters. This radiation is dangerous - if you have it in your head with headphones, all the more. You can protect yourself better, for example, by listening to music on your cell phone in flight mode and using cable headphones with an air duct. But the problem lies deeper: every pharmaceutical company that wants to bring a drug onto the market has to prove that it is harmless. This is different in the telecom industry, and technologies are rolled out without further evidence. There are limits, but if they would protect us, not so many people would have complaints. "