Any dangers of bluetooth wireless earpiece? - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 2006-06-13, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
 
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Any dangers of bluetooth wireless earpiece?

I remember a couple years ago a study said that excessive cell phone use could be damaging if the phone was held up to your head. The study went on to say that it was more dangerous with kids who's skull had not fully developed yet.

Just wondering if there are any thoughts if bluetooth wireless headpieces may not be as safe as a wired mic?

I try to protect myself as much as possible with all things unknown and personally use a earpiece when driving now, just wondering if I should switch to bluetooth in a few months when I get my new phone or stay with wires?
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 2006-06-13, 03:33 PM
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No real proof that even high radiation cell phones ever caused any damage to anyone exists. There are thousands of "researches" that led to conclusions of the type "100% of those who died of cancer have eaten cucumbers, therefore...", but nothing of real scientific value.
So, the danger of the much weaker (compared to cell phone transmitter) energy of Bluetooth is even less likely to cause any kind of problems, except for one - you look funnier than in a geek costume set (glued broken glasses and pencils in the shirt pocket). I wonder when people will realize that and stop walking around with those wireless headphones.
The safest from technical, practical, and fashionable point of view solution for the car is a Bluetooth handsfree that goes through your car radio speakers. There are quite a few of those on the market.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 2006-06-13, 03:35 PM
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There is an ongoing debate within the "expert community" regarding ALL sources of electromagnetic radiation (EMR).

Since the evidence appears inconclusive at this point, the best advise I can give is to "minimize" the sources of EMR to which you are exposed.

For example:

When using a cellphone, a wired mic/earpiece would dramatically reduce any potential EMR. Each time the distance doubles, the signal gets cut in 1/8th. The car speaker option (above) is certainly also a good one.


I also agree that people walking/driving and talking on cellphones (with or without bluetooth), or typing on their blueberries look mighty silly. These devices stopped being cool years ago and I always laugh when a group sits down at a table and all the phones/berries are put on the table in front of each person as though the device somehow defines who they are. (Oooooo, you have the new ABC, model XYZ, you are sooo cooool....)

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 2006-06-13, 04:41 PM
 
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As a health scientist I can't help but reply.

I get these kinds of questions from students all the time.
The risk of talking on your cell phone while driving would be far greater than any theoretical risk from the blue tooth device or even the cell phone itself. There is actual evidence that driving while talking on a cell phone can increase your risk of a traffic accident, hands free or not. Arthur Dent is correct with respect to the type of radiation emitted from cell phones; there is no compelling evidence of danger, although it is not clear what is meant by 'dangerous' or 'damage' in the previous posts. The only thing I can think of is cancer risk, and no human cancer has been caused by nonionizing radiation like you would find emitted from cell phones. Ionizing radiation is the real problem in terms of harm from radiation (e.g., from xrays and UV rays).
So I would suggest protecting your self from all things 'known,' like the dangers of driving while talking on a cell phone, smoking, not wearing a seat belt, too much sun, inactivity, etc.

Please don't ask me about aspartame
-shawn
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 2006-06-13, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snfraser
I get these kinds of questions from students all the time.
The risk of talking on your cell phone while driving would be far greater than any theoretical risk from the blue tooth device or even the cell phone itself. There is actual evidence that driving while talking on a cell phone can increase your risk of a traffic accident, hands free or not. Arthur Dent is correct with respect to the type of radiation emitted from cell phones; there is no compelling evidence of danger, although it is not clear what is meant by 'dangerous' or 'damage' in the previous posts. The only thing I can think of is cancer risk, and no human cancer has been caused by nonionizing radiation like you would find emitted from cell phones. Ionizing radiation is the real problem in terms of harm from radiation (e.g., from xrays and UV rays).
So I would suggest protecting your self from all things 'known,' like the dangers of driving while talking on a cell phone, smoking, not wearing a seat belt, too much sun, inactivity, etc.

Please don't ask me about aspartame
-shawn
I know the Aspartame gig, but what about sucrolose or Nutrasweet. I think that will be the next big silent killer.

Thanks all for the reply, will probably get some kind of bluetooth or speaker for the car so I can see the road rather than talk on the phone, drive, eat a sub and change the radio station at the same time.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 2006-06-14, 10:00 AM
 
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I think you are you just pulling my leg with respect to the next silent killer.
Don't know the research on eating subs while driving. Jared would say it might help you lose weight.
-shawn
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 2006-06-14, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snfraser
I think you are you just pulling my leg with respect to the next silent killer.
Don't know the research on eating subs while driving. Jared would say it might help you lose weight.
-shawn
Nah...my boss worked with neurosurgeons and they told of the hazards of Aspartame. Sucrolose or Nutrasweet is relatively new and untested, but its something like sugar that has an ion removed to change the molecular structre and make it calorie free.

The supposed downside is by doing that it is falls in the same chemical family with a lot of other known carcenogens(sp?)

I would rather be fat than dead, so I say no to Aspartame, Nutrasweet and eating subs while driving.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 2006-06-14, 03:05 PM
 
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Talking

The only danger I can see is from somebody slapping you in the side of the head for never taking the earpiece off when you're walking around or in meetings . I find it annoying when the person is talking away and you don't know if they are on the phone or talking to you.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 2006-06-14, 04:06 PM
 
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I gotta check into the BT car stereo thingy Arthur mentioned. I have a BT earpiece and feel like an idiot everytime I use it.... but I use it because it's better to have two hands on the wheel when I'm driving/eating/talking/smoking/applying makeup/shaving/changing stations/hang gliding/wall climbing/bowling in the van. (Makeup for those 'special' friday nights...not that there's anything wrong with that... )

I have a bunch of stuff.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 2006-06-14, 05:57 PM
 
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can't resist, sorry

Well, I'm no brain surgeon, just a health scientist. And what the research clearly shows is that NutraSweet is only dangerous if you are a rat fed ridiculous amounts by mad scientists. No cases of cancer in humans have been linked to any of those artificial sweeteners (ask the Canadian Cancer Society, or the American one). Fat, however, is though to be the new smoking. That is, being overweight is now thought to be the leading risk factor for cancer after smoking. So being fat is a real risk, not imaginary like NutraSweet.
Anyway, just trying to bring some perspective here. This is relevant to the BT issue, since all of those things we do while driving, even if we don't use our hands, can increase the chances of a traffic accident.
Damn, I sound like my mother.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 2006-06-14, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
 
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I hear you but...

I am in surgical sales and know lifestyle can be the best prevention. But when a guy that sold neurosurgical equipment tells me that surgeons have run into many patients with brain tumors that have been consuming everything with aspartame because it low calorie....I tend to think maybe that could contribute to it.

If not using an electronic device next to my head constantly might lower the risk of brain tumors, I just might roll the dice and not do it rather than say it might be due to the Big Rock I drink or something else a statastician wants to point at.

Just like I'm gonna consume sweets in moderation rather than say "Its got nutrasweet or splenda in it so I can scarf down as much as I can"...like most of the population does.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 2006-06-15, 11:17 AM
 
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Wink

Careful, you are talking to a scientist here. I can't accept claims like most of the population downs as much aspartame as they can, and I can't accept 3rd hand testimony and anecdotal evidence from surgeons, especially where real research exists.
I get ya though. None of your actions should jeopardize your health except maybe driving while talking on the cell phone
Again, to keep the discussion relevant to 'wireless phones', I maintain that driving while talking on a cell phone is surely a greater health risk than holding the phone to your head.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 2006-06-15, 05:52 PM
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Just read a short piece in Business Week Magazine (2006.06.19) about the RF effects of cellphones. The article was written since younger and younger people are getting cellphones. The article also discussed the fact that hundreds of studies have been done using cellphones, and that over 50% of those studies showed some kind of "biological effect" from RF.

Although this neither proves, nor disproves much, it DOES show that RF (even small amounts from a cellphone) does have a biological effect (they didn't say what, some, I'm sure being minor). It should raise some concerns about the long term use of these devices.

We all know how technology often catches up to the "harm" done by things we once thought were safe - cigarette smoke, Radon, DDT, etc.

Especially for children they stated that:

- Cellphones should only be used for (real) emergencies
- Do text messaging (to keep the phone away from the head).
- Use a "headset"
- Use the speakerphone feature.

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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 2006-06-16, 10:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 57
I also agree that people walking/driving and talking on cellphones (with or without bluetooth), or typing on their blueberries look mighty silly. These devices stopped being cool years ago and I always laugh when a group sits down at a table and all the phones/berries are put on the table in front of each person as though the device somehow defines who they are. (Oooooo, you have the new ABC, model XYZ, you are sooo cooool....)
57, I dont quite agree on your statement of "stopped being cool"... This is of course always subjective and we are each entitled to our opinions... In my case I like what Dilbert had to say this past monday:
DILBERT

I would also tend to think that a Bluetooth headset would be better than using the cellphone to the ear, just because its radiated power is much lower than the cell phones. A cell phone can transmit up to a watt, where a headset is in the milliwatts... and besides, they're cool
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 2006-06-16, 12:32 PM
 
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Interesting article 57, thanks.
It sounds like so many other health scares however. The article basically admits that there is no evidence of harm. That is, the weight of scientific evidence doesn't support any harm (perhaps a flawed study here and there). As you point out, some vague 'biological effect' as reported in the article is difficult to interpret. At this stage it seems to me to be a classic health scare like breats implants, power lines, aspartame, and loads of other health scares. No compelling scientific evidence that these things are harmful as reported in the media or on sketchy websites. I will definitely keep my eye on this particular story, just in case.
As an aside, I thought you might be interested to know that several editorials in some of the top medical journals (e.g., The Lancet) as well as the World Health Organization have been calling for a reintroduction of DDT to save millions of lives (no exaggeration, after banning DDT deaths from malaria in Afric jumped from a handful every year to perhaps 1 million. 500 million are estimated to contract malaria every year) from malaria in Africa. West nile virus might be a concern too. Some scientists think DDT is a classic health scare as well. Properly used it is arguably safer and more effective than the chemicals currently in use.

-shawn
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