Smartwatches and wrist bands have been taking the market by storm for a long time now. Almost every technology lover wears one, and an Apple Watch is, for some, the best of all. We’ll leave the subject of how reliable or helpful they are to monitor health, and today we’ll talk about the risks of an Apple Watch radiation and how harmful it can be to your health.
Like every technological product, Apple Watch also emits radiation, although in small amounts. However, proximity to your skin throughout the day and night can make it quite dangerous.
Apple claims the radiation is well under the recommended Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) value but, is it still a health hazard?
Apple Watch vs. Human Health
Apple Watch is a versatile wearable device that resembles a watch. It has connectivity to the internet (via Bluetooth, WiFi, and Cellular) and can sync with your smartphone.
The Apple Watch has a lot of health-related features. You can do daily activity tracking, monitor workouts, and heart rate, track sleep quality, measures the blood oxygen level, and it’s water-resistant. It can even detect if you have taken a hard fall and connect you with emergency services if you are immobile.
The last version has a feature that automatically detects when you are washing your hands and encourages you to go for a full 20 seconds. It can even remind you to wash them when you get home.
Although it is capable of a huge amount of health features, the main purpose many buy an Apple watch is because of its notification sharing, calls, messages, music control, and other nifty little features. While it does all of that pretty well than most of its competitors, it might have some adverse effects on health in the long run.
EMF radiation is unavoidable, like in any other electronic device. With a variety of communication transmitters and receivers in the device, you can’t escape radiation. This EMF problem is not just with Apple watch. This is a dangerous issue with all smartwatches and fitness trackers that many aren’t aware of.
Apple Watch emits radiofrequency (RF) and magnetic radiation. Magnetic radiation from electronic devices of this size is usually negligible. But due to the very close proximity to the body, it cannot be neglected. RF emission is similar to that of mobile phones, as it can be connected to WiFi or Cellular.
How does Apple Watch affect humans?
If you have researched how cell phone radiation affects health and how it increases the chances of developing cancer, smartwatches work similarly. However, it might be much worse due to the continuous and close proximity to your body.
Cell phones and Apple Watch use RF waves to send and receive signals from the cell tower. For Bluetooth, the story is a little different, but it is also radiation, nonetheless.
The biggest downside with a smartwatch, in general, and an Apple Watch, in particular, is the proximity and prolonged exposure to radiation. Although the radiation emitted can be small, the effects can multiply when your body is exposed for longer periods and direct contact with your skin.
The inverse square law establishes that the closer you get to radiation, the higher the radiation’s intensity, which grows exponentially. Being in direct contact with the device will capture almost all of the emitted radiation into the body tissue.
It is easy to test it out yourself with the help of an EMF meter.
The effects of ELF-EMF radiation on human health have been researched for a long time. There is a clear indication that it can help develop cancer, heart disease, altering brain activity, DNA alteration, and even cell mutation, but not the mutation that gives crazy powers as in X-men, the mutation that increases the chances of cancer.
Apple Watch SAR value: Is it a reliable metric?
The Specific Absorption Rate or SAR value is a metric developed back in the 90s to measure and regulate radiation emission in cell phones.
It measures the rate at which energy is absorbed by a human body when exposed to RF-EMF radiation. The test readings are taken for head and body separately, for a contact period of 30 minutes. While this method was based on cell phone use, it is less appropriate to measure EMF emitted by smartwatches.
So how do we understand the EMF readings of an Apple Watch? The first and most reliable method is to get a reliable EMF meter and measure it at various conditions – toggling Bluetooth, WiFi, and Cellular data, on and off. For an accurate measure, we recommend the TriField EMF Meter Model TF2.
The other way to know the radiation emissions is by comparing the manufacturer’s SAR values with other smartwatches and previous generations of the Apple watch. Before that, don’t forget to read Apple’s SAR disclaimer and guidelines.
How to reduce radiation from an Apple Watch?
Finally, how can we protect ourselves from the EMF emission of this tiny electronic device that’s always on our wrists?
#1. Turn on airplane mode whenever you don’t need other functions, apart from just checking on the time. We know, airplane mode will downgrade a smartwatch to a simple digital watch, but you can still use it whenever you need it, and you don’t always need all the fancy features.
#2. You can also remove it when you need it the least. During work, if you work with a computer, anything on the wrist can be very annoying. As a writer, the first thing I do when I reach my desk is to get rid of everything that can restrict my hands. Removing and placing it nearby or in your pocket won’t make much of a difference. Try keeping it inside a drawer or in an EMF protective case.
#3. You can escape up to one-third of the radiation emission from an Apple Watch by just removing it at night while you sleep. Yes, you will lose the sleep tracking feature, but you’ll save yourself from unwanted radiation.
#4. If you see the above table listing the different SAR values from an Apple Watch, you will understand that the GPS-only connection emits comparably less radiation than the GPS+Cellular connection of the same model. If you opt for the GPS-only connection, the overall risk is lowered.
#5. You can try one of the blocker bands in the market. Our favorite is the EMF Harmonizer Apple Watchband, which has a special element to neutralize negative radiation. It provides powerful EMF protection from your Apple Watch, WiFi, cell phones, and even 5G technology. It is a waterproof silicon rubber wrist band with stainless steel buckle, and it is comfortable enough to sleep in.
#6. Finally, if these ideas don’t convince you, swap your Apple Watch for a traditional wristwatch. Most of us don’t use all the features the Apple Watch provides, and we don’t need so much information about us and our environment to live a happy life.
As we have seen before, gadgets and electronic devices are unavoidable in these times. It is very hard to skip on them and not to be part of innovation and convenience. But it is possible to be aware of its dangers and use them wisely to avoid long-term risks.
Use less, use wise, and use shields to protect yourself from the harmful EMF emissions from the Apple Watch.