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Does Bluetooth Cause Cancer?

In this modern age we live in, we are seemingly always performing multiple tasks with much difficulty for those of us not blessed with a penchant for multitasking. One issue for a large section of the population is carrying out everyday tasks whilst talking on the phone. With Bluetooth technology, you can comfortably do other tasks while still using your phone. However, Bluetooth devices emit microwave radiation that causes health issues, particularly when you use them regularly. In this article, you will learn some of the common health conditions that are often associated with some of the Bluetooth devices commonly used today.

Bluetooth devices emit RF Radiation, just like cell phones and WiFi routers. It is also a fact that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has designated RF Radiation as a possible carcinogenic (cancer causing) agent. So there is obviously a risk, but how great? The simple answer is we don’t know. We urgently need more studies, but with constant increases in technology which produces more and more radiation getting the most up to date guidance is impossible.

In this article we will look in Bluetooth in particular, its history, its uses and also its risks!

What Is

Bluetooth or wireless communication is a popular technology that utilises microwaves to transmit data over short distances. This technology connects two or more electronic devices and allows transmissions of information from one device to another. Bluetooth will enable you to pair your headset with your cellphone, allowing you to have conversations on your phone hands-free. 

Bluetooth Classification

You can group Bluetooth devices into three classes of transmitters. These transmitters often vary in terms of how they transmit data. Each transmitter, for instance, has a different ability or level of power. Bluetooth devices that fall on the lower class are more powerful and hence emit higher levels of radiation.

Class 1

Class 1 Bluetooth devices are very powerful and can exceed a range of over 200 feet. They have a maximum power of about 100 megawatts. You can find these devices in laptops and desktop computers as they have more power output. These Bluetooth device extracts the immense power output from the computer for fast data transmission.

Class 2

You can find this type of Bluetooth in portable electronics such as keyboards, headsets, mobile phones, and so on. They operate at about 2.5 mW and can transmit data over a limited range of about 15-30 feet.

Class 3

Class 3 Bluetooth is the weakest when compared to the rest in terms of range and power. These devices operate at one mW and can only transmit data over a limited range of about 10-20 feet.

Bluetooth History

1999
Bluetooth 1.0
The first Bluetooth device was launched in 1999. This was also the year that Bluetooth 1.0 was officially launched.
1999
2004
Bluetooth 2.0
Bluetooth 2.0 launched in 2004, it brought with it a range of improvements including increased data transfer speed. The range of devices also expaneded from 10m to 30m.
2004
2009
Bluetooth 3.0
5 years after 2.0 Bluetooth 3.0 was launched. The transfer speed went up once again.
2009
2013
Bluetooth 4.0
Launched in 2013 Bluetooth 4.0 didn't bring any data transfer speed increases. What it did do though was double the max range from 30m to 60m.
2013
2017
Bluetooth 5.0
This latest version saw a big increase in range. from 60m to a possible 240m!
2017

The Risks

One thing that we hear a lot is that Bluetooth devices are safe because of the low power signal they often use. There are a few reasons this might not be the case. To start with Bluetooth devices are often placed in extreme closeness to our bodies due to there application. Think of wireless ear buds, they often sit inside the ear canal! Another issue is that Bluetooth operates at a high frequency, increasing the risk.

There is a worrying trend amongst consumers that devices must be safe, without any evidence either way. This is a very dangerous stance to take and has many similarities with how we as a society used to view asbestos!

Bluetooth and Cancer

Scientists from different parts of the world have tried to find out if wearing Bluetooth devices can cause throat cancer? When compared to other types of cancer, throat cancer is the rarest type of cancer according to recent studies. Throat cancer affects the tonsils, the voice box, and the vocal cords. The most common types of throat cancer are:
Laryngeal cancer – This type of cancer usually affects the voice box.
Pharyngeal cancer – This type of cancer grows around the neck and throat.

While there are no conclusive findings that link Bluetooth devices to throat cancer, most people still worry about this issue. Presently, more research is essential in this area to conclusively determine that Bluetooth devices can trigger throat cancer.

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