If the world wasn’t already worried enough about electromagnetic radiation from cell phones, Apple now provides us with another source from which to fuel our anxieties, particularly if we’re old.
According to a study presented by a 17-year-old high school student to a meeting of heart specialists on Thursday, iPods can cause pacemakers to malfunction and even fail by interfering with the electromagnetic equipment monitoring the heart.
If you believe that animal testing is cruel, try waving iPods in front of 100 old folk with a mean age of 77, all fitted with Pacemakers.
The study tested the effect of the iPod on each pacemaker patient. Electrical interference was detected half of the time when the iPod was held just 2 inches from the patient’s chest for 5 to 10 seconds. In some cases, the iPods caused interference when held 18 inches from the chest.
Interfering with the telemetry equipment caused the pacemakers to misread the heart’s pacing and in one case caused the pacemaker to stop functioning altogether.
The study was held at the Thoracic and Cardiovascular Institute at Michigan State University. The results were presented at the Heart Rhythm Society annual meeting in Denver.
Fake Steve Jobs, always quick to put the flame out on any negative press for Apple, writes that Apple has known about the issue for quite some time. “And we’re happy about it. We even cranked up the voltage on our new models. Thing is, we really don’t want old people using iPods”. Given this study it’s probably wise that they didn’t.
For more, check out CrunchGear’s sardonic analysis of the study.