updated 11:20 am EST, Fri February 1, 2008
FDA study: iPods safe
A new study conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggests that iPods are safe to use with pacemakers. The study, which included a variety of iPods, showed that the devices did not emit enough of an electromagnetic field to interfere with pace makers, according to Reuters. The experiment used a saline-filled bag to simulate the human body, with a coil sensor designed to detect electromagnetic fields.
Measurements of electromagnetic fields produced by a fourth-generation iPod, fifth-generation video iPod, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle were recorded alongside the voltages received inside a pacemaker by those fields. All measurements revealed that the iPods were unable to affect pacemakers.
"We measured magnetic field emissions with a 3-coil sensor placed within 1 cm (half an inch) of the surface of the player. Highly localized fields were observed (only existing in a one square cm area)," researchers wrote. "Based on the observations of our in-vitro study we conclude that no interference effects can occur in pacemakers exposed to the iPods we tested."
The study included iPods exclusively, and contradicts two prior reports which suggested that the portable devices could in fact interfere with cardiac pacemakers.