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No scientific evidence to prove airpods cause brain cancer 

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Claim: An Instagram user claims using AirPods frequently can cause brain cancer.

No scientific evidence to prove airpods cause brain cancer 

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In recent years, the popularity of wireless earbuds, particularly Apple’s AirPods, has skyrocketed. With their sleek design and convenient wireless capabilities, these devices have become a staple for millions worldwide. However, along with their popularity, concerns have emerged regarding their safety. One of the most pressing questions is whether the radiofrequency (RF) radiation emitted by AirPods could cause brain cancer.

Instablog posted a video of a woman on their Instagram page talking about a stranger warning her about the dangers of using Airpods. The man stated that constant use of gadgets can affect the brain because of the radiation signals it sends to the brain.

In the video, the woman explained that a stranger had warned her not to wear Airpods as it has the “power to cause cancer.”

Since it was posted on June 18, 2024, the claim has garnered 1,265 comments and 4,340 shares. It can also be found on Facebook here, here, and on X.

This fact check aims to explore the scientific evidence surrounding this issue. The virality and controversy on the subject made DUBAWA verify the claim.

Verification

According to Healthline, the strength of radiation released by Bluetooth headsets is significantly lower than that of cellphones, X-rays, or ultraviolet light. Wireless devices produce non-ionising radiation, which is too weak to remove electrons from atoms. The amount of radiation released by Bluetooth devices is relatively low compared to cell phones.

A study done in 2019 also showed that the amount of radiation in Bluetooth headsets was 10 to 400 times lower than phone radiation, showing no evidence that Apple AirPods or other Bluetooth devices cause cancer.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer has listed electromagnetic radiation released by cellphones and Bluetooth devices as potentially cancer-causing, but more research needs to come out to examine if the levels of radiation are strong enough to damage human health.

Currently, no evidence using Apple AirPods or other wireless headphones increases one’s risk of brain cancer.

Bluetooth earbuds produce less radiation than cellphones, even though they are so close to the brain. However, some health experts warn that more research is needed to examine their long-term effects.

Experts approached by Medscape Medical News had different opinions.

“AirPods use standard 0.01-watt Bluetooth,” said Kenneth Foster, PhD, a professor of bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. A cell phone transmits 0.1-1 watts, and FCC records indicate that radio-frequency exposure from AirPods is far below their limits for cell phones, and those measurements were done under worst-case conditions that  far overstate actual exposure under real-world circumstances.”

American Cancer Centre also suggests that studies of people published so far have not established a clear link between cell phone use and the development of tumours. However, these studies have had some important limitations that make them unlikely to end the controversy about whether cell phone use affects cancer risk.

Expert Opinion

Mary Idowu, an ear, nose, and throat specialist (ENT), explained that AirPods can not cause cancer. “In our scope of research, we have not seen any evidence that supports that. From my point of view, frequent loud sounds from the AirPods can cause problems, but I can not say that they can cause cancer.”

She also explained that the immediate tissue being exposed to radiation should be considered first before thinking if Airpods can cause brain cancer. 

Ms Idowu warned that people should reduce loud sounds when listening to music as it can potentially damage the ear drums.  

Another ENT specialist, who preferred to be known as Adeyinka, dismissed the claim as untrue. In his conversation with DUBAWA, he said he had never treated anyone with any disease linked to Airpods. “To put it simply, no. It’s very unlikely that AirPods cause cancer,’’ he concluded. 

Conclusion

There is no evidence to prove any linkage between AirPods and brain cancer. Experts warn that loud music can cause hearing loss, but no studies have yet proved that using AirPods can cause brain cancer. 

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