Radiation From Galaxy Buds – Are They Safe?

Radiation From Galaxy Buds - Are They Safe?
Image by Kārlis Dambrāns

Phones and accessories are constantly evolving due to the intense competition between technology companies. With the new Galaxy buds on the market, we wonder if the radiation they emit is safe.

Galaxy buds use Bluetooth or radio waves to transmit information to and from your phone. Despite emitting a lesser amount of EMF radiation than mobile phones, the close proximity of the buds to your brain and eardrums is troubling for some people.

If you use Galaxy buds regularly for hours, the low EMF radiation can accumulate, resulting in potential health effects. Since the technology of Galaxy buds is still new, there is little to no research done on those devices.

If you are interested in Galaxy buds and their safety profile, keep reading!

Radiation From Galaxy Buds

By using Bluetooth waves to communicate with your phone, Galaxy buds are bound to emit radiation. Bluetooth is part of the radio waves category, a form of Electromagnetic Field (EMF) radiation.

While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that daily EMF radiation is harmless to our health, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified EMF as a potential carcinogen.

Similarly, a great canyon is dividing the scientific field with polarising research. Researchers use a measurement system called the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) to determine the impact of EMF waves on our health.

The system measures the amount of radiation (watts) a body can absorb per kilogram, using the unit w/kg. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the limit for our EMF exposure is 1.6 watts/kilogram.

Yet, researchers agree that this measurement is flawed since it was done considering only six minutes of peak activity with a phone, such as a phone call.

Therefore, the results cannot be applied to every device, including the Galaxy buds since people listen to music for more than six minutes.

Wireless earbuds have a SAR measurement of approximately 1.1 w/kg. While it is significantly below the safety measurement, the close proximity of the buds to your ears and brain is a concerning factor.

Galaxy buds are inserted in your ear canal while your phone is held against your ear. Moreover, there is no barrier to protect your eardrum from EMF radiation since they are covered with a sensitive and thin membrane that can be easily damaged.

Are Those Radiations Different From Any Earbuds?

The main competitor to Galaxy buds is the Airpods 2. According to the FCC report, Airpods 2 have a SAR value of around 0.5 w/kg while Galaxy buds are below the threshold that needs a SAR test.

Therefore, compared to Airpods 2, Galaxy buds significantly emit lower EMF radiation. Some Airpods users reported that they feel nauseous or get headaches when they use the wireless earphones.

While this may correlate with the larger EMF exposure from Airpods 2, some evidence suggests that it may be due to the noise-cancelling features of the earphones instead of the SAR value.

Comparing wireless and wired earphones, both categories emit EMF radiation to a certain extent, but wireless buds produce more EMF waves than wired ones. A more significant amount of radio waves is required to transmit signals to your phone wirelessly than connect wires.

In fact, a small current is passed through the wires to transmit audio signals. However, even the tiny current via the wires used emits EMF waves.

Do Galaxy Buds Cause Cancer?

Galaxy buds do not cause cancer since their emission is too low to induce drastic changes in your DNA. However, prolonged exposure to an accumulation of EMF radiation in our daily life can potentially lead to changes in gene expressions, therefore cancer.

Some researchers are adamantly expressing their concerns about the potential health risks of EMF technology, which includes phones, Wi-Fi, broadcast antennas, and baby monitors.

More than 250 researchers from over 40 countries have signed a petition to the World Health Organization and United Nations, asking to put stricter regulations on the allowed EMF emission by devices.

Yet, you should note that the petition is not addressing wireless earphones only but the whole group of EMF devices. Mobile phones emit more radiation than Bluetooth earbuds and the latter can be used in two ways.

If you are using your Galaxy buds for several hours a day to listen to podcasts or music, your EMF exposure will eventually add up. However, if you are using the wireless buds to have phone calls, it could reduce your exposure than if you were holding your mobile phone to your head.

A study from the APSITT in 2010 stated that when using Bluetooth earphones, the participant experienced lower radiation compared to when using a mobile phone.

This is because the direct radiation from the cellphone antenna was reduced, thus had lower thermal radiation to the human head. Nonetheless, remember that this article should not be considered medical advice, and you should always consult with your doctor.

So, Are Galaxy Buds Safe?

Galaxy buds are relatively safe because they emit lower levels of EMF radiation compared to mobile phones. There is limited research done on the specific use of Bluetooth headphones to determine their exact safety problem.

However, the closeness of wireless earbuds may expose the head up to a third of the EMF radiation from a mobile phone.

The major source of concern among experts is that the FCC regulations of 1.6 watts/kilogram were only designed to protect people from short-term thermal risks only.

While Galaxy buds have a SAR value well below the authorized range, some researchers believe that the current SAR policies do not account for the potential risks of the long-term use of low-levels devices.

According to an interview from Healthline, some experts are suggesting that regular long-term use of wireless earphones can quickly add up over time despite the low SAR levels.

With the current situation, there is a great demand for new research on long-term exposure to EMF radiation from wireless earphones to understand the actual impacts of those devices on our health.

How To Protect Yourself?

There are several ways to protect yourself from EMF radiation emitted by your Galaxy buds, namely limiting your daily use, being intentional, or changing to airtube earphones.

1.   Limit Your Daily Use

Instead of using your Galaxy buds to listen to music for several hours, you can swap them with a wired headphone or simply listening from your phone’s speakers.

The less time the buds are in your ear canal, the less your EMF exposure will be.

2.   Be Intentional

This approach goes hand in hand with limiting your daily use of wireless earphones. You can use the Galaxy buds for phone calls, especially if your job requires long hours of phone conversations.

3.   Consider Airtube Headphones

If you are concerned about the closeness of EMF radiation to your eardrum and brain, DefenderShield’s air-tube earphones are ideal for you.

They are particularly designed to reduce EMF exposure to the head. Instead of wires, the upper section of the headphones contains air tubes that allow sound waves to travel to your ears. You find more about them and get the latest price here.