MP3 Earphones Pose Risk To Pacemakers, May Harm Health

Magnets in Earphones could pose a health risk to patients who have a heart condition and are fitted with a pacemaker and a defibrillator device as they could induce a magnetic field which could potentially be fatal.

A report showed during the American Heart Association conference says that MP3 earphones and headphones could interfere with the smooth operating of the life saving devices.

The research carried out by a team from the Medical Device Safety Institute at Beth Israel Medical Center in Boston, USA and was headed by Dr. William Maisel.

A scientific study of the interaction of eight different models of headphones and earphones with 60 patients fitted with defibrillators and pacemakers found out that a significant proportion of them suffered from some interference.

Placing a magnet against a defibrillator - even with a 30mm gap - effectively deactivated the device even for a short time.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) came to the conclusion that portable media players by themselves are harmless (ed: a bit like a hammer) and are safe to use.

The research could possibly end with Headphones and Earphones carrying health warning, just like for Alcohol and Cigarettes.

Related Links

Image Courtesy of City of Akron News Releases showing the American Heart Association receiving Defibrillators.

Image Courtesy of Focus Online showing William Maisel.

Image Courtesy of JVC showing how an earphone is built.

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons showing a Meridian SR pacemaker.