Is Wearable Technology Really Dangerous?
Have a bit of a persistent headache after donning that expensive new Apple Watch you bought last month? It could be that your brand new wearable device could be slowly poisoning you without you even knowing it.
There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that the age of wearable technology has arrived. It started with Google Glass and has progressed steadily to fitness bands, smart watches, and will continue in the future through even newer tech advances like Wi-Fi enabled clothing. It won’t be long until we’ve got Bluetooth Underwear sending alerts to our smartphones telling us when it’s time to do our laundry. However, all of this new technology could come with a hidden cost to our health in the form of increasing our exposure to electromagnetic fields, or EMFs, to dangerous levels.
Possible Health Risks
Devices that emit EMF are already a part of life in the modern world. Laptops, smart TVs, mobile devices like smartphones and tablets – unless you’re living in a cave and you don’t own any electronics whatsoever, you’re being bathed in electromagnetic radiation nearly every moment of every day. The good news is that we’re more connected than ever before in our lives, and we’ve got news, communication, and entertainment at our fingertips whenever we want. The bad news is that we could be causing cellular damage to ourselves as a result.
While the body of physical evidence is still small as to how EMF radiation affects the human body, there have been initial links to all sorts of health concerns related to EMF over-exposure. Conditions such as persistent headaches, loss of concentration, anxiety, depression, and others could be caused by EMF exposure; in some cases, there could even be links to the development of brain tumors in patients that have their mobile phones glued to their ears. An increasing number of scientists are growing concerned that our new, ultra-connected lifestyle could be making things much worse – and new wearable devices could just exacerbate the issue.
How Much is Too Much?
For the most part, a large amount of wearable tech uses Bluetooth, a wireless technology that doesn’t emit the kind of strong EMF that other more powerful devices that rely on Wi-Fi or cellular technology do. Some of these devices use such minuscule amounts of energy that their Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), a metric used by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to ensure that these devices are safe to be in close proximity to humans, don’t even need to be subjected to rigorous testing before they can be marketed commercially. This differs greatly from more powerful devices like laptops or mobile phones that have to be tested to ensure they pass SAR requirements imposed by the FCC. Even with these limits, it’s unclear whether the constant, chronic exposure to even low levels of EMF radiation isn’t doing more harm than good to the human body – especially to children, who are said to be naturally more susceptible to EMF emissions than fully-grown adults are.
However, an increasing number of wearable devices don’t use low-powered Bluetooth. Google Glass, for instance, also uses Wi-Fi – and that means that these more powerful devices could be posing health risks to us. With smart glasses like Google Glass, devices that are designed to be worn for long periods of time in close proximity to your brain, this could be detrimental to our health. In fact, Google Glass has a SAR of 1.42, very close to the maximum safety limit of 1.60 imposed by the FCC.