Bluetooth radiation/safety

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by patrickq, Oct 31, 2008.

  1. patrickq macrumors member

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    Mar 23, 2005
    #1
    Anyone done any extensive research on the safety of Bluetooth? I've looked up a few sources and am still unsure. I'm using a G4 powerbook and suspect it doesn't have very powerful Bluetooth fitted, but want to establish just how safe it is. Reason is I want to use with young baby around, so don't want to do so if it is harmful ... probably past worrying about what it might do to me, sitting right next to it as I type!

    I believe the strength of radiation falls of as inverse square, or some such thing, meaning at 2 metres it is a quarter as strong as it is at 1 metre? So, at what distance can one safely say it will have no effect on a developing child/brain, particularly if used for several hours at a time?

    Once paired (to mobile phone internet connection, in my case) does the signal from both devices spread out in a circle, or is it uni-directional (doubtful I guess).

    I realise the radiation is minimal, particularly compared to say a mobile, but still want to know what this really means ... a conventional bomb's impact is minimal compared to an atomic one, but you still don't want to be under one!

    If anyone has looked into this and has some real info to impart it would be great, thanks in anticipation :)
     
  2. emt1 macrumors 65816

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    #2
    Oh god you have got to be kidding me. Do you realize how many sources of electromagnetic radiation we are exposed to every moment of our lives? Electricity, power lines, radio stations, TV stations, microwave communications, satellites, compact fluorescent lightbulb, your microwave oven, wireless internet, I could go on forever.

    Trust me, your baby is endangered by things much worse than Bluetooth.
     
  3. pi.phage macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    #3
    While it does put off radiation, don't worry about it. It's completly harmless. As are Cell Phones. The radiation is fine. While I understand that you're worried about your baby, the truth is that it can't do anything.
     
  4. patrickq thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 23, 2005
    #4
    The kind of reply I had hoped to avoid, are you a politician by any chance. Why is it so hard for some people to just read the question and reply only if they have something constructive to say?

    I realise we are bombarded daily with all types of electromagnetic radiation ... by the way you forgot the sun in your pointless list ... and your psychic powers need developing, I don't possess the microwave oven you think I do, I don't see the point in completely nuking food then eating it!

    You apparently have no idea what you're talking about, but if you think you do, then answer the question in detail, not fire off with your irrelevant view.

    Then you ask me to 'trust' you ... you have to be joking.

    :)
     
  5. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    Singapore
    #5
    seriously man dont worry about it, turning off bluetooth wont give you any more life time, nor will turning off your cell phone haha.

    its a pointless thing to be worrying about IMO.
     
  6. patrickq thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 23, 2005
    #6
    Thanks, wish I could just believe you, but I'm looking for information from those who have actually spent diligent time checking this and have webpage references etc to back it up. Unfortunately, I don't agree with you regarding cell phones and really don't see how you can say they're fine, there is at least a huge amount of uncertainty.
     
  7. emt1 macrumors 65816

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    #8
    let's all protect our children from the evil Bluetooth mouse
     
  8. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #9
    The problem is that you ask a question that has no answer. There is currently no evidence that emitted radiation from any approved Bluetooth device is harmful to the brain, developing or otherwise, at any distance, and so since there isn't any evidence of a distance at which Bluetooth is dangerous, how can we extrapolate a distance at which it is not dangerous?

    Here is more info from the Swiss government (don't know what country you live in):

    http://www.bag.admin.ch/themen/strahlung/00053/00673/03571/index.html?lang=en

    And here is some very recent research on the topic...

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18937345

    Anyways, I think that specifically thinking about Bluetooth is probably the wrong way to go for a specific reason -- you are operating multiple RF generating devices in your home -- BT, WiFi, cellular modems, possibly RF devices, your Microwave, etc. If you want to minimize SAR, you want to try to minimize it simultaneously for all those things. Rather than thinking about how many meters from your BT transceiver your baby can be, figure out first: what wireless devices do I really need in my home? And then, second, if I plot out a map of my home, can I put the baby somewhere where she/he is as far as possible from all the sources at the same time?

    As far as BT / WiFi / Cell devices you carry on your person while you also carry your baby... you have to make a decision. There isn't data supporting the idea that you are endangering your baby, but you clearly believe you are. So if that's the case, fine. Make a choice and don't carry those devices with you when you have your baby.
     
  9. brapmac740 macrumors member

    brapmac740

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    Nov 2, 2008
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    Cleveland, Ohio
    #10
    I'm sorry, but I couldn't hold back from laughing. But really, on a more professional level the bluetooth is perfectly fine. I would suggest placing the microwave on the opposite side of your height chair in the kitchen though.:)
     
  10. obdave macrumors member

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    May 25, 2008
    #11
    Awhile back I read a study of household sources of EM radiation, and the ones that were really off the chart were the devices that had a motor - hairdryers and electric razors had crazy EM fields.

    But, it's useful to keep in mind that most people (hopefully) use these devices for relatively short periods of time.
     
  11. patrickq thread starter macrumors member

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    #12
  12. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #13
    Doesn't that cover nearly everything in general?
     
  13. patrickq thread starter macrumors member

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    #14
    mkrishnan thanks for link to Swiss info, interesting. I didn't ask a question that had no answer, the answer could be 'there is no definitive answer, but here are the conclusions reached so far with available data and some charts showing fall off of radiation and comparisons between Bluetooth and mobile signals for example'. Unfortunately, emt1 made no attempt to consider an answer, just replied with his unsubstantiated opinion - you'll note I did ask If anyone has looked into this and has some real info to impart it would be great, thanks in anticipation at the end of my post ... I didn't think it would be necessary, on a forum with those intelligent enough to use Macs, to say more :)

    Just to set the record straight, some replies seem to assume I live in the type of environment they do ... I apparently don't!

    It appears some people don't bother to read the posts, for example I've already mentioned I don't believe in microwave ovens and then 'brapmac' comes back with another empty reply, but to clarify further we also don't use Wi-Fi which appears to be far more problematic than Bluetooth might be, don't use compact fluorescents (they give off terrible light and do b all for the planet), no TV, no hairdryers etc, never use/carry mobiles when baby is in same room/vehicle!

    However, we do have a laptop and this connects via a mobile to the internet, as can't get landline here. This is where the difficulty lies, the mobile sits as far as possible from where our baby is and we connect via Bluetooth, except now we want to use computer in same large room as baby and mobile still at distance away in another location.

    It's interesting that most replies seem keen to laugh at the stupidity of someone considering the health of their baby :)
     
  14. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #15
    Yeah, it's fine. We have four Macs in the house with three kids, and all of them are just fine. Heck, we think the third eye that each has developed will give them a competitive advantage in sports.
     
  15. brapmac740 macrumors member

    brapmac740

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    #16
    I would watch out for those Baby monitors, my brother has had a speech impediment ever since him and I would use them as walkie-talkies.
     
  16. mbleopard macrumors regular

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    Sep 8, 2008
    #17
    While basically every modern device emits some sort of radiation bluetooth with its range of approximately 30 ft should emit much less than say a cell phone, wireless router, radio, etc which all have a much longer range. While there is conflicting thoughts as to whether or not all of this radiation is dangerous to humans or not you are literally bombarded by wireless signals (radiation) every single second of every day so there is little you can actually do about it if you even wanted to.

    By no means am I attempting to make fun of your concern, but with the way the world is moving (wireless) a bit of bluetooth radiation isnt gonna change much.
     
  17. PYR0M310N macrumors 6502a

    PYR0M310N

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    Aug 29, 2006
    #18
    Unless your going to check for wireless signals everywhere you baby will ever go, as you seem to think it's more dangerous than BT, (I can currently get to 7 wireless networks from my house and I don't even live on a busy street, so think about a city) I think you should let it slide.
     
  18. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #19
    No one has been able to prove scientifically that bluetooth is harmful. It is lower power than a cell phone. The European Union has done some research, but they have not found anything. Lots of quacks say it is dangerous and supposedly have data, but it is not very valid data.

    I would expect a baby to be more in danger of being in the car with you and an accident happening.
     
  19. patrickq thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 23, 2005
    #20
    Point is I don't live in the city any more, used to live in centre of London, and certainly wouldn't return now with a child. We live in a very rural area.

    This is part of the difficulty, research isn't done enough, because there's no mileage in it for those who can fund it. Think of all the things that have been cited as supposedly safe, which were anything but, which includes the first microwave ovens, until they were made safer, smoking, numerous drugs etc. The 'quacks' are often the ones employed to say all is well, by the interested concerns!



    Again, I realise this, but it's interesting how little anyone knows about it. So far, nobody has posted anything that shows any knowledge about Bluetooth radiation, other than generalisations, which indicates that we just accept what the industry tells us and don't check any further. Bit like watching CNN/FOX/BBC and believing the news to be fact!


    I'm still slightly bemused by the laissez-faire attitude of several people, like they really don't care to think about whether they can do anything to improve the quality of a child's environment - just let the world slide further into decline, probably stick their baby in front of the TV at a year old and get on with one's own life.

    Anyway, thanks for the comments from those who've given some thought to the question, even if we haven't reached a knowledgeable conclusion :confused:
     
  20. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #21
    It sounds like you had already come to a conclusion anyway, regardless of the question. So, to reinforce your apparent belief, keep the child away from any and all RF energy sources, you never know what may be lurking in the spectrum. ;)

    Here's the facts: ALL RF energy can be harmful, given the right intensity and dosage. MOST of it isn't, given the typical exposure and current understanding of human physiology and known sources throughout history. Historic evidence points to a less than long-term harm from the vast majority of it, given the general state of evidence (or lack of it) pointing to exposure-related illnesses or damage.

    You can do one of three things:
    • ignore it all and go merrily on your way,
    • take reasonable precautions, like not laying the baby on the microwave when heating the formula or using the TV as a sixteen-hour-a-day nanny,
    • or just wrap the little one in tin foil.

    While protecting your progeny is admirable in the utmost, shielding them from any and all fears, real or imagined, is not necessarily going to do you or them any significant benefit, physically, emotionally, or psychologically. Gaining opinions from an internet forum is the least likely method to gain any factual data upon which to base a life decision anyway.

    Cheers. :)
     
  21. patrickq thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 23, 2005
    #22

    If you don't have anything useful to add to the question, just ignore the topic.

    I haven't made my mind up on Bluetooth, that's why I posed the question. However, I do have strong opinions on many other forms of radiation, but by no means all. If it is that hard for you to grasp, then maybe you're right in your last sentence, from your own experience. Possibly you don't know how to use the internet to access valid information? I rarely use this forum, other forums that I frequent have people able to post useful and informed information, backed up by references if necessary.

    You just offer a bland appraisal of how you see RF and make statements with no scientific or other backing, despite my request for informed opinion, not just general hearsay.

    I don't need your advice on how to bring up a child, I see no reference to protecting them from any and all fears, so perhaps you're the one who has made his mind up :)
     
  22. sammich macrumors 601

    sammich

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    #23
    This is an interesting topic. The thing about a public forum is that it is part of freedom of speech, say whatever you want. It is up to you to filter and ignore the comments from the people who don't seem to understand your point of view.

    Yes, all forms of radiation (ie: radiate) obey the inverse square law. But without a quantitative constant, that doesn't help too much.

    That said, you do have an interesting situation, you don't seem to want to do much in the way of the common household devices, except that phone and laptop.

    There is no conclusive evidence of the effects of EM from consumer devices on living tissue. I think we've covered that here already. If this was covered up by the government/lobbyists/large corporations in anyway, we wouldn't know. But with the billions of users of these devices out there in the world there should be some connection made between these devices and any harm that they may have caused.

    Regardless, what you could do is find out the power output of a typical bluetooth antenna and compare it to other devices you use often or nearby to your little one.

    Solutions I have thought of as I wrote this:
    1) Put your laptop in a place away from your child, get an external LCD display and a wired keyboard and mouse that way, all wireless devices can be put away from the point of usage.
    2) Get 2-way satellite internet, and do away with the bluetooth with an ethernet cable.

    You probably dismissed #2 straight away :D. But if you haven't already read literature along these lines, here are a couple of sites I found quickly.

    http://www.hps.org/publicinformation/ate/q2143.html
    http://www.hps.org/publicinformation/ate/faqs/radiofrequencyqa.html
     
  23. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #24
    The best clue is that as BT is a non-ionizing form of radiation, the potential cancer threat is effectively zero (RF-induced cancers have only been shown to caused by ionizing radiation, in the form of UV, X-Rays, etc.), but that doesn't address any other cellular damage. The likelihood, incidence, and nature of harm caused is unknown, period.

    This link, although addressing life far earlier than you need, still is instructive as it refers to the levels of observed damage in sperm, which is arguably more fragile than a full-term fetus, much less a post-birth infant or toddler. And even though it discusses cell phone RF vs. BT specifically, that is also additional indication towards the lack of risk from BT.

    Even though this is a vendor site, it does offer some useful links to various papers, though I'd take them with at least minor skepticism.

    As has been noted and repeated ad infinitum, there is no conclusive, comprehensive evidence either way in cases of incidental or casual exposure. BTW, these questions have been posed--specifically to your point--for several years, and yet there's still no absolute answer. Assess the risk as per your own level of concern and act accordingly.

    If you want to come to a public forum and then get your panties in a wad when you don't get the responses you like in the way you like them, don't be amazed that all you're doing is escalating the nonsense unnecessarily. Making ad hominem observations and telling others what they should & shouldn't do in choosing to post is no way to gain heplful advice, either. If poking a pig makes it squeal, then guess what? There's bound to be lots of poking going on instead of cleaning out the pen as was originally hoped for.
     
  24. emt1 macrumors 65816

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    #25
    his post was one of the best in the thread. I'm fairly certain you are suffering from confirmation bias.
     

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