Wireless earbuds most likely do not increase the risk of developing a brain tumor · Health and Science

Wireless earbuds most likely do not increase the risk of developing a brain tumor · Health and Science

Where does this news come from?

Airpods These are Apple's wireless earbuds for listening to music or other audio. Just like other wireless earbuds and headphones, Airpods use Bluetooth to transmit audio. Bluetooth It is a form of wireless technology through which data is exchanged between two devices via radio waves.

  • The distance between these devices may not be more than ten metres.
    • For example, the distance between your smartphone and your earphones, or between your smartphone and your speaker.
  • Both devices must have Bluetooth technology and recognize each other in order to transfer information, such as music for example.
  • It is also important that you do not need WiFi or internet for this.

to radio waves used by bluetooth Non-ionizing radiation. According to some, these rays that enter wireless earphones have a harmful effect on the brain, and ultimately cause a brain tumor. This rumor was recently revived by Paul Saladin, an American psychiatrist who has a pseudo-scientific YouTube channel, where he posts a lot of nonsense and has many followers. He posted a video on his Instagram account on February 24, 2024, explaining that Airpods can harm your brain and that they work like a microwave (1). His posts are liked and shared en masse.


(1) https://perma.cc/ERN3-DW67

How should you interpret this news?

Both Bluetooth and microwave use it Electromagnetic waves. So far, Saladino has a point. the characteristics of the emitted waves, however very different.

  • Due to very low energy and dispersion The temperature rise caused by Bluetooth devices is very small: Therefore negative health effects are very unlikely.
  • The waves used by a microwave oven generate more energy. The more energy-generating rays, the greater the risk of damage, for example, to the genetic material in human cells. DNA damage increases the risk of cancer.
    • The sun, for example, generates ultraviolet radiation, which is also a form of electromagnetic radiation, and can cause skin cancer.
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Radiation Little energy For example, the rays emitted by a smartphone are potentially possible No harm to DNA Catch.

  • Several studies that have sought a link between smartphone use and brain tumors typically, but not always, find no effect (2).
  • The same goes for radiation from AirPods or other wireless earbuds. Most studies have found no effect on cancer development, but not all.
  • So far there No evidence Although wireless earbuds can cause cancer, it is not 100% certain.

Paul Saladino no longer works as a psychiatrist, but is only interested in going viral Pseudoscience Through its various channels on social media. He is also a supporter of the carnivore diet, is anti-vegetarian, does not believe that cholesterol can harm health and adheres to various conspiracy theories.


Wireless headphones and earbuds, such as Apple's Airpods, work via Bluetooth. They receive and emit non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation. The impact of these rays, which are also emitted by WiFi, for example, has been investigated on health and specifically on the development of brain tumors. Most studies have found no effect, but others see a link with more brain tumors. At the moment, it can only be said with a high probability that these headphones are safe for health, but not with complete certainty.


(2) https://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/opinions_layman/en/electromagnetic-fields07/l-2/3-mobile-phones-cancer.htm

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