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Is it possible to make eartips, earbuds of IEMs with toxic or hazardous materials?

  1. shrewdgamer
    Is it possible to make eartips, earbuds of IEMs with toxic or hazardous materials? Which over the course of months slowly accumulates in the body of a person and once it reaches a certain level of concentration causes injuries, diseases, etc?

    If yes, is there a way to identify such hazardous and toxic materials and neutralize them or not use them?
  2. wuwhere Contributor
    Like plastic?
  3. Mightygrey
    I'm sure you could make eartips out of enriched Uranium 235 which would likely do just that.
    pstickne likes this.
  4. pstickne
    “Accepted hazard” of the 21st century..

    Although I don’t know of any plastic that would, especially in such small quantities, leach ‘toxins’ to accumulate such through skin to a detrimental effect on humans. That would have to be some mad evil scientist formula!
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
  5. pbui44
    Beryllium, which is incorporated in certain dynamic drivers, is an element that is toxic to humans:



    Currently, the most well-known headphone that has beryllium in its dynamic drivers is the TOTL Focal Utopia. Although the Utopia does not emit nearly as much radiation as a medical imaging device, like an X-Ray machine, the Utopia does emit sound through its dynamic drivers, which contains beryllium. We all want high quality sound, but at what cost are we willing to take to achieve that high quality sound? From the above links, remember that various factors are considered for beryllium poisoning, such as time exposure to equipment that contains beryllium and work environments that are known to have emit radiation. It is really up to you on whether it is worth using these types of headphones or not.
  6. pstickne
    Quantity and vector is relevant - else just scare voodoo without supportive arguments: “does not emit nearly as much” = ???.

    Humans are exposed to radiation daily, including the (organic) food we eat. The exposure type to the beryllium itself is also relevant; eg. the coating in the drivers is not a dust being inhaled.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
  7. Raketen


    (I guess you could look for replacement tips from reputable companies that advertise "medical grade, non-allergenic" materials, though I'm not sure that necessarily means 100% safe for prolonged skin contact over the course an entire lifetime... as to identification https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analytical_chemistry)
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
    pstickne likes this.
  8. shrewdgamer
    I don't know, eartips and earbuds seem to be made out of a flexible material, like rubber. Could they be made with harmful material which might enter the body through skin contact.

    I don't mean radioactive material, any other injurious material which slowly builds up in a person's body with constant use of eartips or earbuds made out of such injurious materials?

    So you think it's not possible to be done by regular earphone companies? Can secret governmental agencies be able to do that?

    Thanks for this information. But my question is specifically related to eartips and earbuds found on IEMs.

    Is it possible to make eartips and earbuds of IEMs with harmful material which might build up in a person's body over time and cause them to suffer?

    What reputable companies? I have seen eartips and earbuds from SpinFit, Comply, SignatureAcoustics sold in India, in addition to ones without any brand. But their packaging seems it is possible to be taken out, rub harmful substance and put back. It's really impossible to know if they are used, new or tampered with.
    pstickne likes this.
  9. shrewdgamer
    Can something similar be done with headband and ear cushions of headphones?
    pstickne likes this.
  10. tomb
    "Although the Utopia does not emit nearly as much radiation …"? It sounds like are you trying to imply that beryllium is a radiation hazard. One has to ingest it, most notably by breathing the dust. Just because beryllium is used in an X-Ray machine, that doesn't mean it has anything to do with emitting radiation. And because a headphone driver "does emit sound," it is not an implication that it could emit radiation or emit beryllium. A mylar headphone driver doesn't emit polyester.

    I am a staunch opponent of processing beryllium in normal manufacturing environments, but dust control in processing beryllium is possible, given the proper safeguards. That is the primary danger - not to the consumer of a product containing solid pieces of processed/fabricated beryllium. The beryllium drivers used in Focal headphones are a single, pure piece of beryllium - not a coating and not a powder. The danger is to whoever made it (dust from cutting or stamping the metal), not who is using it.
    pstickne likes this.

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