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Are Bluetooth Headphones Safe?

Bluetooth headphones and headsets allow cellphone users to make hands-free calls. While these devices use wireless radiation to communicate with your phone, they are safer for you to use than holding a cellphone next to your ear.

Explanation of Bluetooth

Bluetooth headsets communicate with your cellphone through a wireless chip called a "Bluetooth chip." The chip transmits voice signals using a type of short electromagnetic wave, similar to the type used by cellphones. Because the chip is not very strong, Bluetooth signals work for only short distances.

Effects of Cellphone Radiation

While radiation from cellphones can impact your health, the effects are minor and no cause for concern, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) website article. Cellphone radiation does not cause or promote cancer, several WHO studies found. While some suggestion exists that radiation affects brain activity, reaction time and sleep patterns, those effects are extremely minor, and the research is not yet confirmed. The biggest health risk for cellphone users is interference with devices such as pacemakers and traffic accidents caused by distracted driving.

Bluetooth vs. Cellphone Radiation

Bluetooth headsets and cellphones emit the same type of radiation, which can be harmful. The chip in a Bluetooth headset, however, is much weaker than the chip in a cellphone. So Bluetooth users are exposed to far less radiation than cellphone users. According to the University of California at Irvine's website, a typical headset generates about 0.001 units of radiation, while a cellphone antenna generates as much as 1.6 units of radiation, which is 1600 times more radiation.

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About the Author

Elizabeth Roberts has been writing about music, art and culture since 2005. Her work has appeared in "The Buffalo News," "The Village Voice" and Artvoice, among many other websites and zines. Roberts is currently completing a Bachelor of Arts in magazine journalism from Syracuse University.