Apple’s AirPods marked a big leap forward in wireless technology. Unlike wireless headphones which are comparatively bulky, these small earphones make a statement while being understated. But experts are warning that they could be putting users at risk.
A petition warning of radiofrequency radiation has been put to the World Health Organization (WHO). This wavelength is used in WiFi, mobile data and Bluetooth – including the in-ear headphones.
“We are scientists engaged in the study of biological and health effects of non-ionising electromagnetic fields (EMF),” the appeal states. “Based upon peer-reviewed, published research, we have serious concerns regarding the ubiquitous and increasing exposure to EMF generated by electric and wireless devices.”
Last year, Apple sold 28 million pairs of the earphones. However, some 250 scientists signed the petition to the WHO and there are concerns that the non-ionising electromagnetic fields which they use could be carcinogenic.
‘The various agencies setting safety standards have failed to impose sufficient guidelines to protect the general public, particularly children who are more vulnerable to the effects of EMF,” the petition states. “By not taking action, the WHO is failing to fulfil its role as the preeminent international public health agency.”
There are similar concerns around WiFi which, for risk experts, is considered a potential future equivalent of asbestos – a type of insulation which was commonly used until it was found to cause respiratory issues.
“The WHO adopted the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classification of extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF EMF) in 2002 and radiofrequency radiation (RFR) in 2011,” the document continues. “This classification states that EMF is a possible human carcinogen (Group 2B).” They then make a number of demands.