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DECT Cordless Phones - are they dangerous?
Old 02-27-2010, 10:25 PM   #1
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DECT Cordless Phones - are they dangerous?

I just both a new cordless phone with DECT technology. I hear they are supposed to be very clear sounding. After using tonight, I noticed it gave me a headache. I thought maybe it was just from the sound difference, but as I read on the web, there is concern about those DECT phone emitting radiation (like mobiles, but both at the base and phone itself).

I stopped using the phone about an hour ago and I already feel my headache going away.

I really like my new phones features but surely don't want to cook my brain
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Old 02-27-2010, 10:58 PM   #2
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I attended an all day event today, and I turned my cell phone on when I woke up. I noticed the sun was rising. I turned it off when I got home, and I noticed the sun was setting. So now I wonder if my cell phone causes the sun to rise and set.

Seriously - one headache? How do you assign cause/effect to the phone? Yes, they emit radiation, both the handset and the base. That's how they work. But far less than a cell phone. It would take 600 of them to emit as much radiation as a night light.

It is pulsed radiation though. But I've never heard from a credible source of that low of a level causing a response in anyone.

What kind of phone did you use before?

-ERD50
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Old 02-27-2010, 11:08 PM   #3
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In the past I have corded phones and one cordless phone from the past.

How do I assign cause and effect to the phone. Talking on the phone for an hour and a half and having a headache, temple ache on that same side.

Kinda like this, I suppose:

MOBILE PHONE DANGER: CORDLESS PHONES ALSO FRY: phone masts, cell phones, wi-fi, wireless - Green Health Watch

another link:
http://www.easyecoblog.com/42/dect-c...one-radiation/
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Old 02-28-2010, 01:11 AM   #4
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Easysurfer: I truly would not worry about the electromagnetic field causing a problem. This has been studied a LOT because of the huge negative potential such an effect would have.

However, holding any phone up to your head for an extended period could give you a headache. Especially if it is pressing on your temple. It certainly does for me. And, the shape of a new phone could cause you to hold your head and neck in a new way, which might cause a headache.

Steve
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Old 02-28-2010, 07:18 AM   #5
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TVs fry your brain too, so does sunlight and cosmic radiation.... we're a dying species, extinction is the natural order
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Old 02-28-2010, 07:36 AM   #6
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Here's the control experiment: Turn phone off. Talk on it for 1.5 hours (to no one in particular; this is science!). Do you have a headache? Repeat daily for 4 weeks.

Then repeat with the phone turned on.


Post results here in 8 weeks.
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Old 02-28-2010, 09:42 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
Here's the control experiment: Turn phone off. Talk on it for 1.5 hours (to no one in particular; this is science!). Do you have a headache? Repeat daily for 4 weeks.

Then repeat with the phone turned on.


Post results here in 8 weeks.
Needs to be a double blind experiment. Someone else needs to hand them the phone, not knowing if it is on or off, record the on/off state *after* the subject is asked if they have a headache.

Running that experiment would give me a headache.

As far as that website for a reference, I can google just about any subject and find support for it. Usually with no scientific basis.

-ERD50
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Old 02-28-2010, 10:46 AM   #8
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Well, you only want to do the double-blind experiment after getting money to do the first experiment. Then you say, the first experiment wasn't valid and you need more money to do a double-blind experiment. Then you say, the second experiment wasn't ....
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Old 02-28-2010, 11:17 AM   #9
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Heh, numbers is hard - to steal a few tag lines.

There is a formula for figuring energy input to a particular area from electromagnetic radiation. It so happens that the FCC has set some standards for such things, and someone was kind enough to make it internet ready.

At this link you can plug on some numbers and get results.
Enter - Power Density Calculator

Figuring 1/2 watt continuous power output of cell phone, at a tenth of a foot from the antenna, at the higher of of the cellphone band at 1800 MHZ, which antenna I assume as having no gain, the following are the results.

This forum's configuration does not allow the nice tabular format to be copied. So yeah it does look jumbled. Tried to clean it up bit.
Calculation Results
Average Power at the Antenna .5 watts
Antenna Gain in dBi 0 dBi
Distance to the Area of Interest .1 feet,0.0305 metres
Frequency of Operation 1800 MHz
Are Ground Reflections Calculated? No
Estimated RF Power Density
4.2829 mW/cm2 Controlled Environment

Maximum Permissible Exposure (MPE) 5.005 mW/cm2 1.005 mW/cm2
Distance to Compliance From Centre of Antenna 0.1426 feet 0.0434 metres 0.2569 feet , 0.0783 metres
Does the Area of Interest Appear to be in Compliance? yes


It does not look like it will cook your brain.

Having known all this stuff for many years, I still don't use cell phones any more than a few minutes per month, nor do I like hand held transceivers nor wireless residential phones, but that is just my peccadillo.


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Old 02-28-2010, 11:51 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone for your replies. Well, problem solved. I decided to return the phone. The clincher for me was realizing that the base continuously sends out radiation and the sniff test, or more likely, the numb headache right afterwords.
(The feeling similar to the feeling on my hands if taking out food too soon from the microwave).

I compare the experience kind of like those blinding LED headlights in cars. Measurements show they are within the okay range, but I know when they shine at me, my eyes hurt.

I read that with DECT 6.0 technology, a few phones are out there that only give off radiation when receiving/making a call but they aren't popular yet.

ls99 - cool power density calculator. I'm with you, though items like cell phones are deemed safe to use, the disclaimer is to use in moderation.
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Old 02-28-2010, 01:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
(The feeling similar to the feeling on my hands if taking out food too soon from the microwave).
What are you talking about? Seriously, I don't know what you mean. Are you reaching into the Microwave while it is still on? That seems unlikely, you would have to defeat the interlocks to do that, and that does not sound like something you would do. Once the Microwave is off - there is *no* radiation, other than radiated heat from the food, no different than taking it out of a wood fired oven. The food is not 'glowing' with microwave energy.


Quote:
The clincher for me was realizing that the base continuously sends out radiation...
I wouldn't trust that site for that technical info. Even if it is true, the base puts out low power and you aren't sitting there with the base antenna up to your head for hours. Power density drops off rapidly with distance.

What makes you think that your 'cordless phone from the past' puts out any less radiation than this DECT 6.0 phone? It may put out more.

-ERD50
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Old 02-28-2010, 01:40 PM   #12
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This could be your big break!

If you can reliably tell whether a phone is turned on or not, you can collect an easy million dollars from the James Randi Educational Foundation.

Challenge Info

Might be worth a few headaches.
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Old 02-28-2010, 07:35 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
What are you talking about? Seriously, I don't know what you mean. Are you reaching into the Microwave while it is still on? That seems unlikely, you would have to defeat the interlocks to do that, and that does not sound like something you would do. Once the Microwave is off - there is *no* radiation, other than radiated heat from the food, no different than taking it out of a wood fired oven. The food is not 'glowing' with microwave energy.




I wouldn't trust that site for that technical info. Even if it is true, the base puts out low power and you aren't sitting there with the base antenna up to your head for hours. Power density drops off rapidly with distance.

What makes you think that your 'cordless phone from the past' puts out any less radiation than this DECT 6.0 phone? It may put out more.

-ERD50
Maybe it's just heat either way, but in both cases, I'd rather go on the side of caution.

DECT 6.0 phones use their base to put out some radiation all the time. The bases work like a tiny cell phone tower. Granted at much smaller doses.

Like the warnings about cell phone use. The amounts are within the legal limits, but be cautious about using it too much or letting children use them.

Even one time secondhand smoke was deemed safe. I'll pass on the Dect 6.0 for now.
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Old 02-28-2010, 08:07 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
I'll pass on the Dect 6.0 for now.
Well that is certainly your option. There are some things that I might think have a slight, maybe, possibly a chance of risking a problem, and I'll avoid them if there is an easy substitute. Why not, right?

I just think you are jumping to cause/effect with the DECT and one headache, and more importantly - is your alternative safer?

A corded phone has a direct wired connection to a network of wires outside your home. A lightening strike, or a power line falling on the telephone wire outside your home is probably more of a real danger to you than the radiated power from a DECT phone/base. And how much RF energy is being picked up by that network, exposed to all the RF energy in the air? I don't know, but it is not zero.

I don't mean to alarm you either. I'm reminded of Alfred Hitchcock on the Dick Cavett show (IIRC) - he told the story of a young woman that refused to take a shower after seeing 'Psycho', and then she saw some other movie (name escapes me), that had a bathtub murder scene....

-ERD50
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Old 02-28-2010, 08:16 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Well that is certainly your option. There are some things that I might think have a slight, maybe, possibly a chance of risking a problem, and I'll avoid them if there is an easy substitute. Why not, right?

I just think you are jumping to cause/effect with the DECT and one headache, and more importantly - is your alternative safer?

A corded phone has a direct wired connection to a network of wires outside your home. A lightening strike, or a power line falling on the telephone wire outside your home is probably more of a real danger to you than the radiated power from a DECT phone/base. And how much RF energy is being picked up by that network, exposed to all the RF energy in the air? I don't know, but it is not zero.

I don't mean to alarm you either. I'm reminded of Alfred Hitchcock on the Dick Cavett show (IIRC) - he told the story of a young woman that refused to take a shower after seeing 'Psycho', and then she saw some other movie (name escapes me), that had a bathtub murder scene....

-ERD50

Another article, a bit dated but here it is:

MSPs probe safety of digital cordless phones HEALTH: ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS Radiation fears see cross-party investigation widened

It does talk about the difference between DECT cordless phones and regular non DECT ones. Also, a common complaint is headache.

Yes, I do see where you are coming from. There are lots more dangers, riskier activities than getting sick from DECT phones. In my own case for example, I own an older, subcompact car. The chance getting seriously hurt in that is a lot more than from DECT phones.

Yet, on the otherhand, I look at the comparison to smoking. A few cigarettes wont' kill you. But if smokings makes me feel unnatural, sick. Why should I keep on smoking?

If mobile phones, DECT 6.0 phones cause headaches (and I don't believe I'm the only person who had experienced a headache from them), it must be doing someting. So for me, why add the extra risk?
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Old 02-28-2010, 09:44 PM   #16
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Sorry, but the articles you link to are just fear-mongering, with weasel words like "They claim radiation pulses from Dect phones are far more aggressive than those from mobiles,". What the heck makes them "more aggressive"? Most of the mobile phones in the world pulse their power output (GSM is Time Division Multiple Access technology - pulsed output), and at far higher power levels than DECT. And people report "headaches and memory loss to sleep disturbance, depression". I don't doubt it. People used to report that the earth was flat, and worms spontaneously generated out of mud. Doesn't make it so.

Obviously, you are free to do as you see fit. And I am free to suspect that any alternative communication device you choose is probably no safer, and possibly worse than a DECT phone. If you really fear this stuff, you ought to look into an Amish community - though they do use batteries and electricity in their carriages, and air powered tools (I understand it is the wired connection to the outside world they dislike).

I'll drop out here, I've said all there is to say. -ERD50
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Old 02-28-2010, 10:27 PM   #17
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I'm really going by the "sniff test". For example, if I eat peanuts and get an allergic reaction even though lots of people aren't allergic to peanuts, I think the best thing for me to do is stop eating peanuts.

If you were in the same situation, you can choose to stop eating peanuts or choose to keep on eating because most people aren't allergic, and studies I bet show most of the time, peanuts for people are a non-issue.

Likewise, if I use a DECT phone and it gives me a headache, I can choose to keep on using the phone or not. Pretty simple decision, I think.

I'm not ready to join the Amish (though I heard they make great furniture).

Our discussion is moving in the territory of..

Question: Is the temperature of 65 degrees cool or warm?
Answer: It depends on who you talk to.

I'd be happy to agree to disagree. Like you said, to each his own.
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Old 02-28-2010, 10:33 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
A corded phone has a direct wired connection to a network of wires outside your home. A lightening strike, or a power line falling on the telephone wire outside your home is probably more of a real danger to you than the radiated power from a DECT phone/base. And how much RF energy is being picked up by that network, exposed to all the RF energy in the air? I don't know, but it is not zero.
I can make all the wired phones in the neighborhood whistle dixie when I transmit with my 1.5kw output amateur radio amplifier. Of course, I have rfi filters on my own phones.......
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