What Are the Dangers of Telephone Headsets?

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Telephone headsets offer many benefits to users, especially users who are on the phone a lot. Headsets are becoming more of a necessity as states make talking on a cell phone while driving without a hands free device illegal. This does not mean however that telephone headsets don’t come with their own list of cons.

Hearing Loss

  • The only danger currently proven to be caused by telephone headsets is hearing loss. Hearing loss from headset use is gradual over periods of time dependent upon how high the volume is set when in use. To help prevent hearing loss, it is recommended to keep your headset at conversation level which is about 60 decibels. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) advises 85 decibels is the safe limit. To determine where the decibel level is on your headset, refer to the headset manual.

Cancer

  • Cancer caused by use of these types of devices is one of the hottest debates and areas of interest specifically focused on the cell phone and wireless industries including wireless headsets. One side claims that the results of studies are inconclusive while their detractors believe there’s enough evidence to warrant at a minimum the posting of warnings.

    Cell phones and wireless headsets work via low EMF (microwaves) and RF (radio waves) connections, both of which emits low levels of radiation. Headsets are assumed to be safer than cell phones as they produce lower radiation levels; however cancers which have been associated with extremely low EMF and/or RF are leukemia, brain tumors, and increased breast cancer (men and women).

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other government control agencies do not currently have advisories posted regarding the use of headsets or any other wireless device, but do reference articles related to the subject. Headsets fall under the definition of digital devices which come under the jurisdiction of the the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC does restrict how much radiation they are allowed to produce which are currently deemed to be safe.

Brain Damage

  • Brain tumors are most commonly thought of when thinking about possible dangers of wireless headsets; however there have been studies completed by Swedish neurosurgeon Dr. Leif Salford which show damage to the blood-brain barrier enabling pathogens into the brain which normally wouldn’t be admitted. The only study results which increased the damage were length of time of exposure. In addition he has completed studies which show a correlation to an early onset of Alzheimer’s. These studies also found that the reduction of radiation resulting from lower RF does not alter the results.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
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