“Hi there, I'm using Bluetooth headphones for listening to music. The other day, my neighbor told me that these devices are bad for health and pose a great risk. Please tell me, can Bluetooth cause cancer?“, asked, Janet Springfield, a TechWelkin reader through email. To answer this, I did a bit of research and based on that, I am writing this article.
Imagining a world without wireless devices is increasingly becoming difficult. Such devices are very convenient to use as they cut away the hassle of managing wires. Mobiles phones, Bluetooth headsets, FM radios –all these are the examples of wireless devices. However, because wireless devices work on the grounds of radiation; there has been a growing concern about how safe are Bluetooth devices?
Bluetooth is an industry standard that is used for transferring data over small distances through radio waves. It has become almost an established fact that mobile phone radiations are dangerous for our health. Mobile phone radiation can cause cancer and tumors. Combined with the ease of use; these concerns have sky-rocketed the acceptability of devices like hands-free earphones and Bluetooth headset.
But many people still fear that, like mobile phones, Bluetooth headsets can also cause cancer!
People get anxious because of the thought of having a radio antenna planted so near their brains! After all, Bluetooth devices also work wirelessly just like mobile phones! So what's the difference?!
Well, let's get to the point. The truth is that Bluetooth is as safe to you as your FM radio. Let me explain how.
On 31st May 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that excessive use of mobile phones may represent a long-term health risk. Cell phones are dangerous as they emit high powered radiations. This is because mobile phones have to send signals to the base station which could be located miles away.
On the contrary, range of Bluetooth is less than 100 feet. So, Bluetooth radiations carry comparatively negligible energy.
Bluetooth uses the microwave frequency spectrum in the range of 2.4 GHz to 2.4835 GHz while the FM radio uses 87.5 to 108.0 MHz. Do not worry about the big difference between the used frequencies. It is not the frequency that matters but the energy carried by the waves. Bluetooth waves are not expected to travel long distances –so they carry very little amount of energy.
Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) is the measure of how much radiation energy our body absorbs if exposed to a particular frequency. In United States, only those mobile phones are allowed to be sold that have an SAR rate of 1.6 watt (of energy) per kilogram (weight of the user's body).
According to Wikipedia, the SAR rate of LG Optimus 2X mobile phone is just 0.545. Similarly:
Motorola Devour has an SAR rate of 0.45
Nokia 3310 has an SAR rate of 0.99
Motorola Stature i9 has an SAR rate of 1.44
The least harmful phone on the list is Samsung Acclaim with an SAR rate of just 0.29
Now let's see how bad is Bluetooth headset in comparison.
A study by William G. Scanlon of Queen's University in Belfast found that a typical Ericsson Bluetooth radio module generates an SAR rate of just 0.001 !
Even our sun emits much more powerful radiation than Bluetooth!
Rest assured, so far, none of the studies have linked Bluetooth with health hazards.
It is in fact better to use a Bluetooth headset because not only it saves you from tangled wires of a hands-free but also it increases the average distance of mobile phone from your body.
Did you get the point? The real problem is the mobile phone itself. The farther it is from your body –the better it would be. Bluetooth headsets allow you to keep the phone much farther away from your body.
So, dear reader, don't be afraid. Get a Bluetooth headset and enjoy using mobile phones in a better and more convenient way! The best way is, of course, to use earbuds (aka hands-free or earphone) because they don't emit any radiation at all and also keep the mobile phone away from your body. Bluetooth is the second best choice. Using Bluetooth headset is definitely better than pressing a nasty mobile phone on your ear. Mobile phone is the real bad guy! Keep it away from your body.