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Are Bluetooth Devices Safe to Use?

Bindu swetha Feb 20, 2020
Are you the kind of person who is hooked to your cell phone 24×7? In that case, you should know about the health and other related risks involved when using Bluetooth devices.

Talking While Driving?

The National Occupant Protection Use Survey found that, at any given time, approximately 660,000 drivers in America use cell phones or operate electronic devices while driving.
Bluetooth technology is a communication system that is used in place of wires or cables in order to connect various devices.
Right from mobile phones to headsets, Bluetooth technology is used everywhere. Many individuals are so addicted to their cell phones, that they have a Bluetooth headset plugged into their ears all the time.
However, these devices may pose a certain health risk, if used frequently. Bluetooth devices emit microwaves, and prolonged exposure to such waves may cause health problems. Let us have a look at the various dangers of Bluetooth devices.

Is Bluetooth Technology Harmful?

Before we talk about Bluetooth devices, let us see if Bluetooth technology is harmful. Bluetooth is transmitted through microwave radiation. The range that this radiation uses is 2.402 GHz to 2.480 GHz. Microwave frequencies have a short wavelength, a rapid oscillation rate, and operate at a very low power.
Also, the penetration depth of these waves is about 1.5 cm at 2.54 GHz, which indicates that this penetration is too small to affect the human body. However, long-term exposure to microwave radiation can cause cancer, leukemia, attention deficit disorder, hair loss, miscarriage, birth defects, etc.

Bluetooth vs. Cell Phone Radiation Dangers

As mentioned earlier, the amount of radiation that is emitted by Bluetooth devices will not have harmful effects on the body.
The small range of Bluetooth devices and low operating power makes these devices less vulnerable than cell phones. Cell phones need to transmit signals back and forth from the base stations, which requires considerably high power. However, bluetooth devices need less power, because of their short operating range, which is just about 10 meters or so.

FDA Statement on Bluetooth Radiation

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has mentioned that using hands-free kits and other accessories is better than using cell phones directly. According to the FDA, the combination of body-worn cell phone accessories can reduce RF energy absorption from cell phones.
Bluetooth devices can reduce the exposure because a cell phone is held away from the body (head). However, the risks involved due to exposure from cell phones are still unknown, so there is no conclusive evidence that such accessories reduce the radiation effect.

Driving Distractions

Although there are no potential health risks involved in using Bluetooth devices, according to DistractedDriving.gov, the major reason for road accidents is the use of phones while driving.
Though the usage of Bluetooth headsets has increased over the years, the statistics on accidents are still the same. According to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), headset cell phone usage is not substantially safer than hand-held use.

Statistics by Distracted Driving reveal that...
In 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 3,267 in 2010. Also, in 2011, an additional 387,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver, as compared to 416,000 in 2010.

Security Concerns

Apart from the health concerns, the security risks involved with Bluetooth devices are much higher. A research firm, Insight Express, has found out that 73 percent of mobile phone users are not aware of the security risks involved with Bluetooth-related devices.
According to the research, hackers can gain access to information that is stored on cell phones. But since we are talking about Bluetooth devices, the signal strength is low, which limits the attacking distance to about 10 meters. The use of firewalls and anti virus software can help reduce these risks.
Although there is no scientific evidence which proves that Bluetooth devices are harmful, many researchers claim that prolonged usage of these devices can have health risks. Even in that case, it is advisable to use a Bluetooth device along with your cell phone, instead of using the cell phone directly.