Although Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are wireless forms of communication, they differ in terms of their purpose, capabilities, and other factors. Bluetooth allows the transfer of data between devices, but on a short-range, about 30 feet, and Wi-Fi, on the other hand, enables devices to connect to the Internet. Bluetooth is mainly used to pair mobile devices with other mobile devices, but also it is used for earbuds, your car, and your smart fridge. Sometimes even it is used for less immediately obvious ways, like to connect a printer or mouse to a computer. But is Bluetooth harmful? Does it cause radiation?
Types of Radiation
- Ionizing – emitted from UV rays, X-rays, gamma rays in CT scans, etc.
- Non-ionizing – emitted from microwaves, power lines, cellphones, Bluetooth devices, etc.
Ionizing radiation can be devastating for your health as it can cause damage to DNA, brain tissue, loss of nerve cells, and a lot more. Non-ionizing radiation may not have such drastic effects, but it is still harmful. Let us see in which ways!
Is Bluetooth Harmful
The scientists in 2011 of the International Agency for Research on Cancer warned that this type of radiation was possibly carcinogenic to humans. A chronic electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure can cause cancer, neurological disorders, learning and memory deficits, and reproductive issues, among others.
Also, the World Health Organization (WHO) says that non-ionizing radiation like Bluetooth is “potentially cancerous,” You would say how? Radiation means the transfer of heat of electromagnetic waves, which does not involve the movement or the interaction of matter. If it is still unclear, continue reading.
We say Bluetooth is dangerous because, just like Wi-Fi, it works in a way that shares information using Radio Frequency (RF) Radiation, just like your microwave oven. The microwaves work between 109Hz (1GHz) to 1000GHz, and the Bluetooth on 2.45GHz, so the frequency of Bluetooth is in the same range as the microwave oven, but it can’t “cook” your brain as it is a very low frequency. However, very frequent exposure can have a lot of negative effects on your well-being. A constant low-powered RF Radiation signal can be more dangerous than a more powerful short-duration RF Radiation signal.
When we compare Bluetooth to 4G and 5G, just for you to see the difference, Bluetooth emits a slightly higher frequency than 4G cell service, and 5G is a much higher frequency than Bluetooth.
Does Bluetooth cause cancer?
This concern took place with the same appearance of Bluetooth, as a 2015 study suggested mobile phone users have a “somewhat increased risk” for meningioma, which is a kind of brain tumor. This caused similar concerns regarding the safety of all other non-ionizing EMR emitting devices similar to Bluetooth.
There is a study performed by the National Toxicology Program which provides the same evidence of RF EMR causing certain tumors, taking into consideration that the RF EMR that the specimens were exposed to is very high, you won’t use Bluetooth that often. They were exposed to 2G cell signals 2-7 times for 9 hours a day for two years. You should still be cautious.
What is interesting about this study is that cancer appeared just in male rats and not females. Another thing that they found out is that it can cause cancer to just 14% of that population. Moreover, Bluetooth technology also increases the chances of leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow.
Can Bluetooth contribute to infertility?
Is Bluetooth harmful to the human reproductive system? The evidence of RF EMR affecting reproductive health in men has more evidence so far than the cancer causation.
There are a lot of studies that show that lower sperm motility was noted based on heavy use of cellphones, Bluetooth included.
Heavy use of cell phones creates heat, and that is what is causing the whole problem. This confounding factor leads to the drop in sperm motility which can be proven in a handful of studies. For example, there is evidence of reduced sperm motility in male rats.
Also, the authors of another study have also concluded that the use of cell phones by men is associated with a decrease in their semen quality.
Is Bluetooth safe for the brain?
There’s a theory that is backed up by a study that cellphones are strong enough to suppress glucose absorption by the brain, which can lead to some behavioral disorders. For example, long exposure to EMF can be linked to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), especially in developing children.
So being exposed for a long time to electromagnetic fields (EMF) can disrupt the way how your brain cells communicate with each other, and as a result, you can experience different side effects. Some of the most common side effects include frequent headaches and symptoms of depression.
Is Bluetooth harmful to babies?
As a responsible parent, you are probably concerned about how Bluetooth affects your baby. It has been found that the chance of pregnancy loss is increased by three times more if one is exposed to high levels of non-ionizing EMR.
Other researchers have found that women who were exposed to high levels of nonionizing EMR during their pregnancy are more likely to have children with ADHD.
We established that Bluetooth is a form of RF Radiation, and we can add here that it is the most harmful to infants and fetuses because of their size and the fact that their tissues are still developing. This non-ionizing form of electromagnetic radiation has been found that can easily damage and unwind their DNA. Since their skulls are thinner, they are more likely to get brain tumors and cancer.
So, try to avoid using Bluetooth gadgets when pregnant and keep your child away from those kinds of devices as the children are more affected than you.
Bluetooth headphones radiation
Officially regulatory authorities on the safety of Bluetooth headphones say that the amount of radiation they emit is too low to be concerned. However, if you consider all of the above, this claim is flawed, considering that you have RF microwave radiation directly against your body at 2.4GHz for long periods.
Maybe these RF are low-energy emissions, but research has shown that even low-frequency RF radiation is still capable of inducing a host of adverse effects on his biological systems.
Considering Bluetooth headphones, most of the time is in your ear. This means that even Bluetooth is considered a low-energy frequency, the contact time between the EMF and your brain tissue is elevated. And produces much higher radiation than the one when holding your cell phone up to your ear.
One of the most frequently asked questions by users on online forums has to be whether there’s a link between the Bluetooth headsets and headaches. If they can cause headaches with paring mobile phones, imagine what they can do when plugged into your ear for a prolonged period.
Recent studies have also linked ADHD to high levels of EMF radiation exposure like that emitted by Bluetooth headsets. The effects of this include –
- Triggering random thoughts
- Clouding mental activity
- Loss of concentration
RF radiation exposure to children is even more dangerous since their brains are still developing. So, confiscate their headphones in their best interest.
As we mentioned, Bluetooth’s EMF has a short wavelength. Their waves rise and fall rapidly, creating pulses that are damaging to human cells.
Apart from this, they also throw off calcium ion signaling, which simply causes their channels to leak. Long-term exposure can disrupt the tissues at a cellular level and cause irreversible damage to DNA, as those are cells that your organism can’t repair. This eventually increases the risk of cancer.
What’s more, because Bluetooth radiation is so close to the head, this results in thinning out and weakening the blood-brain barrier which makes the neurons vulnerable to damage.
Tinnitus is a condition where an individual gets ringing or noise in the ears. It is proven to affect approximately 20% of the population. In normal cases, Tinnitus is usually an underlying condition brought on by a disorder in the circulatory system, it can be from an ear injury or age-related hearing loss. A Brazilian study found that EMF RF radiation triggers this condition or worsens it in those who already have it.
Plus, it is well known that headphones can cause deafness, Bluetooth even more. Most of us forget that our ears can only handle a sound of 85 decibels. To prevent loss of hearing ability, avoid exposure to high volumes, and also use regular headphones, not Bluetooth.
And last but not least, hair loss. Another problematic side effect that Bluetooth headphones can cause is Hair loss. You would think that this is kind of funny, sadly not. Maybe the Bluetooth headphones look cool, and you must use them for your job, but It has been proven that early baldness occurs after prolonged use of Bluetooth devices.
There Are Certain Precautions You Can Take
When taking into consideration what we mentioned above, we can really take special precautions to avoid the potential health risks.
When having prolonged phone calls, the safest alternative is using the speakerphone feature on your phone or wired headphones. Dr. Santosh Kesari, a neuro-oncologist at the John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, advises this.
The same goes for those who listen to music or podcasts music for hours. And as we mentioned, This is especially important for children, who are still developing, you can’t just expose them to this kind of radiation.
Important small steps to undertake
It is nearly impossible to avoid radiation these days completely, but we can all take a few steps to reduce the amount we’re exposed to regularly. In conclusion, we can at least do this:
- Use wired headphones
- Use a corded keyboard and mouse
- Connect your cell phone to your car stereo with a cord
- Put your cell phone in airplane mode when sleeping
- Don’t sleep with your cellphone hear your bad
- Instead of using Bluetooth or wireless speakers, headsets, or fitness bands regularly, opt for speakerphone or regular aux cords instead
- Think twice about wearing an Apple watch or any other device that will be in constant contact with your skin
- Don’t carry your cellphone in your pocket, put it in your purse
- Don’t use your cellphone when it has a lower battery, this increases the EMF signals
- Other precautions include keeping your cell phone about 10 inches from your face, what is also important to note is that when the signal is poor, reception emits more radiation
- Avoid purchasing devices for your home with Bluetooth options like lights that connect to Alexa
- Unplug Bluetooth speakers in your home when not in use
- Consider EMF blocking cases for your phone, like the SafeSleeve
- Plug your laptop or desktop into the internet line instead of connecting via Wi-Fi
- And last but not least, consider a low-dose melatonin supplement and l-carnitine. Both may mitigate cellular damage from EMR.
So is Bluetooth harmful or not? The main problem with EMF is its calcium leakage into cells and mental activity changes, resulting in an individual getting lost in random thoughts and losing concentration. With that, the signaling of human cells is thrown off, causing leaks in the ion channels. This leads to DNA damage which doesn’t repair naturally, thus increasing your risk of developing cancer. So, we can strongly say that Bluetooth radiation can cause biological damage to your body.
Moreover, the blood-brain barrier in your head weakens, which results in neurological damage. Many consumers have experienced nasty headaches caused by Bluetooth devices or when being exposed to similar wireless networks. Apart from that, people report feeling more tired and sleepy. But you can mitigate it by taking a melatonin supplement and l-carnitine.
So the answer to the question: Is Bluetooth harmful? is “Yes, it is”. So, take the precautions we mentioned and avoid the negative effects of Bluetooth. Maybe you don’t feel the side effects still, it is better and more useful to meet a problem in time than to seek a remedy after the damage is done!