Radiation & Wired Headphones Vs. Bluetooth

Updated February 21, 2017

Mobile phone users have several options when it comes to reducing their potential exposure to radiation while talking on their cellphone. Two possibilities are Bluetooth wireless technology and using a wired, or corded, headset.


Cell phones emit low levels of radiation, and according to the Federal Communications Commission, some studies have linked radio frequency radiation exposure with cancer, although the results were not conclusive as of 2011. The Food and Drug Administration requires cell phone manufacturers to notify users of potential health hazards from cell phone use.


According to the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Environmental Oncology, users can limit their exposure to potential radiation by using devices that don't require them to hold the cellphone against their ear -- including wired headsets and Bluetooth wireless technology.


According to the Environmental Working Group, a Swiss Federal Office of Public Health study measured the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) -- the amount of radiofrequency energy absorbed into the body -- for Bluetooth devices. The devices found that SAR emissions were between 12 and 34 times lower than with a cell phone.

Wired Headset

A separate study by Motorola found that SAR levels from using a wired headset were eight times lower than those measured when making a call holding the phone to the ear. The SAR levels were higher than those found with the Bluetooth devices.

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About the Author

Erik Arvidson has 12 years of professional writing experience, including six years as a senior reporter at the Massachusetts Statehouse for several suburban dailies, and most recently as PR Manager of a telecommunications company near Boston. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English/communications from North Adams State College.