Do AirPods cause cancer?

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Apple AirPods are essentially wireless earbuds that are powered by the Bluetooth technology and they were first released in the year 2016. There have been various theories and concerns regarding the health impact of using AirPods for an existing period of time. One of the theory is that using AirPods consistently can result in cancer.

According to this theory, the electromagnetic radiation from the Bluetooth in the canal of ear can lead to tumors as well as cellular damage. So what exactly is the truth behind this theory? And do AirPods really cause cancer? Let us explore in more detail.

Can AirPods lead to cancer?

One of the reasons why there has been circulation of theory or rumor that AirPods might cancer originates from a development that happened in 2015. In that year the various scientists wrote to W.H.O and UN calling for imposing stricter guidelines for the electromagnetic radiation. The scientists found that the radiation below guidelines has the potential of damaging effects for human health.

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However this was a general advisory with regards to all the Bluetooth devices and not specific to the AirPods. At this moment in time there is no concrete evidence that AirPods or any other Bluetooth devices lead to cancer or other forms of harmful diseases or illnesses. These wireless devices essentially produce the non-ionizing radiation which means the radiation is too fragile or weak for removing the electrons from the atoms.

Thus the radiation that is emitted by Bluetooth enabled devices is significantly lesser than the other radiation forms like X-Rays, cell phones or the UV light.

The radiation emitted by the Bluetooth devices is about ten to four hundred times lower than the radiation of the phones. Thus at this moment in time there is no concrete evidence that AirPods or any other Bluetooth gadgets for that matter lead to cancer. The amount as well as intensity of the radiation that is emitted by these gadgets is lower to the cell phones with which these gadgets are paired.

Most of the wireless headphones use the same technology of Bluetooth that the AirPods use for transmitting the sound between devices. Even though the Bluetooth devices are known to emit far less of the radiation in comparison to the cell phones but there are health professionals and experts who have expressed concerns regarding the long term impact of the Bluetooth earbuds primarily due to their proximity to the brain.

One of the branches of the World Health Organization (W.H.O) known as International agency for cancer research posted a listing of the electromagnetic radiation which is released by Bluetooth devices as well as cell phones as a potential cause for cancer.

However here it is important to point out that there is not sufficient research to determine if the levels of radiation that are emitted by these devices are enough to cause damage to the humans.

Understanding the radiation emission from AirPods.

We know that AirPods made by Apple use the standard Bluetooth technology that is also used by the multiple other headphones. Bluetooth as well as the Wi-Fi use non-ionizing radiation of radio-frequency which the cell phones use. Just as we are unclear regarding the full impact of radiation emitted by the cell phone there is still no consensus on the harmful impact of the Bluetooth radiation, or the intensity of it.

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One thing that is clear is the fact that Bluetooth devices emit far less radiation in comparison to the cell phones. This is because the cell phone has to establish a connection with the cell tower which is somewhere away at a distance from your home.

In comparison the AirPods are communicating only at a distance which lies between the head and the cell phone or some other device. The relatively short distance means that the radiofrequency of the Bluetooth is able to function at a lower power in comparison to the radiofrequency of the cell phone.

Based on this theory one of the professors of epidemiology made an assertion that the Bluetooth devices are likely to be less of a threat in comparison to the cell phones. However the lack of more research and conclusive evidence means that a lot of these things still rely on some degree of conjecture and assumptions.

One of the potential reason for concern or worry with the Bluetooth technology in earbuds such as AirPods is that people tend to wear these headphones at one stretch for a long time. So if in the future the scientific studies do come to a conclusion that the continued usage of Bluetooth devices might have harmful impact then having those devices so close to your ear for a continuous and extended period of time would be the last thing that you would want.

One of the points to note here is that the signal power is necessarily not the only variable in play here when you are considering the consequences of the radiofrequency technology on your health and well-being. Some other factors and parameters such as the inconsistent “pulses” of the radiation that are emitted through wireless gadgets should be given due consideration too as per one of the prominent professors for biochemistry at the Washington State University.

However all said and done the concrete evidence as well as science to determine the impact is still some way away and potentially requires more research to come to a definite conclusion.

The thing that researchers try to do is study the pattern of serious diseases such as cancer and compare it with the usage of different devices such as cell phones. One of the findings regarding this is that there has been no significant increase in the number of brain cancer cases with respect to the increase in cell phone users.

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There are so many different variables in play here that it becomes difficult to come out with a definitive answer one way or other. If you are interested in the health impact of different radiation such as radiofrequency and electromagnetic radiation then you will find various resources, research documents and related articles as well as blogs that go deep into this topic.

It will help you understand better the different aspects associated with the research on the impact of radiation on human health.


So in conclusion we can say that there is no hard evidence to suggest that the use of AirPods leads to cancer of any type. One important thing to note here is that you must avoid using AirPods for a long or extended period of time in one go and also avoid listening to high volume levels as a precautionary measure.

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