Tuesday, May 17

Consumption. Why headphones are disappearing from the boxes of new smartphones

“Dear customers, dear customers, we inform you that our smartphone manufacturers are no longer required to deliver headphones/hands-free kits with their smartphones in France. »

This panel, an Internet user found it displayed in his Fnac store last week. He explains that the Xiaomi brand has been affected since January 17, and Apple since Monday.

Xiami has confirmed this information at the specialized site Lemon Squeezer, and other brands could follow since the removal of headphones allows them a significant saving. The reason : a law adopted and promulgated in mid-November 2021, aimed at reducing the environmental footprint of digital technology in France.

Good news for the environment

Since 2010, manufacturers have been obliged to provide a hands-free kit or headphones to “limit exposure of the head to radioelectric emissions during communications”, as specified the Senate report on the law in question, France being one of the only EU countries to have established this obligation.

Result: 23.8 million headphones were sold each year, even if all buyers of new smartphones did not need them. It is therefore the National Assembly which, noting a “waste”, adopted an amendment to remove the obligation of the manufacturers, then adopted by the Senate.

What impact on health?

According to the senators, “the health argument cannot justify this source of waste. Indeed, international expert bodies, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) have so far refuted the existence of a causal link established between exposure to electromagnetic fields produced by mobile phones and chronic pathologies. Although some publications nevertheless mention a possible increase in the risk of brain tumors in the long term for intensive users of mobile phones, ANSES only recommends the use of a hands-free kit for adult intensive users. »

ANSES (the National Agency for Food Safety) indeed specifies on its website that the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer, a WHO body) classifies radiofrequencies as a possible carcinogen for heavy users of mobile phones. She recommends using the hands-free kit and buying “telephones displaying the lowest SAR (specific absorption rate)”, as well as reducing the exposure of children.

Furthermore, a study published Friday by the ANFR (National Frequency Agency) shows that exposure to waves from the mobile phone used with a headset is reduced “by a factor of 10” on average compared to use without headphones, wired kits having an advantage over kits without son.

Still, if it seems advisable to use headphones or hands-free kits to make calls often, it is not necessarily necessary to have a new pair with each purchase of a new smarpthone. Let’s remember that, according to the 2021 digital barometer, 84% of smartphone owners say they have had it for less than three years, testifying to the frequent renewal of their device.


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