Question: does listening to ipods give you a high chance of getting a brain tumor?

  1. If it does I’m in big trouble!

    The concern about this stems from the concern that wired hands free mobiles might be a bigger risk than a mobile phone by itself because the wire for the ear phone acts as an antenna and directs electromagnetic (EM) radiation from the phone into the ear. However with an iPod there is no source of EM radiation next to the ear phone wire and I am not aware of any evidence that EM radiation picked up by your ear phone wire is dangerous.

    A more important concern with iPods is hearing loss. There is lots of evidence that listening to iPods a high volume will make you deaf.


  2. The biggest health risk from listening to ipods isn’t cancer – it is damaging your hearing. One of my friends, who works at WEHI with me, is researching the biology of hearing loss, and is looking the effects of noise and how and why it makes you go deaf.

    One thing you can do is invest in a good set of headphones for your ipod- that way you can listen at a lower volume without compromising your sound quality.


  3. It’s unlikely that iPods will increase your risk of cancer. With mobile phones, you have an antenna right next to your brain and it’s possible that you might be exposed to some radiation from the phone or even a hands-free headset. However, if you have a good pair of earphones, this shouldn’t be a problem as they don’t function in the same way. But listening to an iPod could increase hearing loss if you listen to it for a long time on a high volume. The ear drum is a tiny little membrane, and you can cause it damage over time by, well, wearing it out listening to loud music very close to the ear!