Electronic devices have been known to produce electromagnetic, radio, and microwaves that have various effects on the environment. With that said though, this begs the question, does a device as small as a smartwatch emit radiation?
Yes, smartwatches small harmless amounts of non-ionizing radiation. Just like smartphones, they emit microwaves, radio waves, and visible light radiation. However, they are well-under FDA regulations and are therefore not harmful.
With that said though, many skeptics on the internet tend to feed false information about the premise of smartwatches and how their radiation can be dangerous for the human body. Therefore, we’ve done some digging and have a conclusion of our own!
Is It Dangerous To Wear A Smartwatch?
No, it is not dangerous to wear a smartwatch. While they do emit radiation, it is non-ionizing. In essence, it is equivalent to the background radiation we generally have from the Earth’s environment and radios, towers, and cell phones.
To understand this better, smartwatches emit three types of radiation, microwave (from WiFi and Bluetooth), radio wave (from a cellular signal), and visible light (from the screen). While this radiation can lead to the production of heat, it cannot chemically alter an object in any way or form.
The chemical alteration of an object in terms of radiation is known as ionization. This is where enough energy is produced such that the atomic structure of a particle is changed. Thankfully, no smartwatch, cell phone, or any consumer device produces radiation that is so dangerous.
A Deeper Dive Into Research
Numerous publications have given rise to the idea that smartwatches or wearables worn on one’s body can cause some harm. Thankfully, the WHO has concluded that there seems to be no harm from extended usage of a mobile phone or smartwatch for that matter.
However, that does not mean that fear still does not exist. In fact, a few niche researchers have shown that very specific frequencies can be classified as carcinogenic given that an ample dosage of them is found.
To circumvent that, the FDA’s current safety limits for radiation have a threshold of 50x the actual amount where danger can be caused. So, for example, if a radiation level of 16 W/kg was dangerous, the actual standard would be set to fifty times less than that.
Is The Apple Watch Dangerous To Wear?
No, the Apple Watch is not dangerous to wear on your wrist as it complies with all of the FDA’s regulations for radiation exposure. Moreover, ample research has been conducted on the subject which also can shed light on the actual amount of electromagnetic waves and radiation being produced by the device.
Here’s a quick look at the Apple Watch Series 5 and how it stacks up against the SAR limit:
|Body Part||Actual Value||SAR Limit|
|Head||0.59||1.6 W/kg (over 1 g)|
|Head||036||2.0 W/kg (over 10 g)|
|Wrist||0.34||4.0 W/kg (over 10 g)|
By taking a look at this data, it is quite clear that the Apple Watch stays well below the SAR limit. So, with that said, while we won’t really recommend for you to put your Apple Watch above your head when you sleep, it is totally fine for you to use it however way you want with no risk to your health.
In essence, while research is conclusive on the fact that such small quantities of radiation will not lead to any harm, these devices are still considered potentially carcinogenic. Therefore, we recommend not over-exposing yourself to your smartwatch and wearing it constantly.
Give it a rest once in a while, don’t let it get to your head and you should be good to go. If you really want to stay safe, we recommend turning on Airplane Mode on your Watch before you hit the hay.
How To Reduce The Effects Of Smartwatch Radiation?
While there is no surefire way to reduce the effect of smartwatch radiation, there are a few methods you can employ to help get rid of some of it.
- Skin Contact: The lesser the contact with your smartwatch, the lesser the minute effect of the radiation. However, this may also mean that most of your fitness / health-related sensors may not work.
- Airplane Mode: Airplane Mode restricts the number of signals that are sent to and from your smartwatch. Enabling it will therefore also reduce the amount of radiation that you get from your smartwatch.
Is It Harmful To Always Wear A Smartwatch?
No, all smartwatches produced follow FDA’s strict guidelines which ensure that the amount of radiation they emit is not harmful and is well under limits. Therefore, you can wear a smartwatch for an extended amount of time and even sleep with it. No harm will be caused to you whatsoever.
Can A Smartwatch Cause A Rash On My Arm?
Yes, a smartwatch can cause a rash on your arm. But, this is not due to radiation as some skeptics might have you think. This is because the band that you are wearing on your arm is not-breathable or you are allergic to the material that makes the band up.
So, by just changing your band or cleaning the area of your wrist that has rashes properly, you’ll get rid of the issue immediately.
I bought my first smartwatch in 2018 and have been wearing one ever since. It might get frustrating at times to receive 100 notifications a day. That's why we need to know how to make the best of them and how to use them to improve our daily lives, not the other way around. I write about the newest smartwatches, I create top picks, and I write helpful guides and simply explain complicated things.