Health and Safety: Earbuds and Bluetooth

I see your issue but I was drawing attention to the earbuds. Stories have a beginning and the end is the concern.

I could have just asked for opinions or stats on bluetooth radio effects on the head but that seems to assumptive and not the point.

I suppose I could have just said why don’t Fairphone care for my head, but then I know they don’t, so I’m putting into the perspective I know by comparing as you noted.

But as this is not a general critique of Fairphone’s practice I chose to focus on the earbuds and radiation.

The thing is even after reading your first post twice I still don’t have any idea what you’re actually trying to say


Ha! that’s quite funny, DeepSea would agree with you there.

Health and safety is the prime initiative of Fairphone from the notion of treating miners better and sourcing fairtrade minerals, which then go to make a phone.

So my idea was to suggest that in using earbuds that use a bluetooth device next to the head for some time is not a move towards the health and safety for the consumer, or am I missing something.

Maybe my brain is already fried and I should go back to pulling invasive plants from the riverside.

So you weigh the lives of the workers with those of the consumers, or how should I understand that?

There’s no authoritarian ‘should’ in my vocabulary, which I have mentioned to you a number of times. You have a choice to understand if you have the will.

I weight my involvement with Fairphone by supporting the notion of treating those that are paid to do my dirty work better, that doesn’t mean I agree or support every aspect of Fairphone and query the health issue of 2.4GHz in my ears.

Again, though I have said this before, I am not weighing other peoples ‘killing games/lives’ against each other, just the weight of my part.

This seems like a classic “double bind” to me:

Now, if I said I did not want to muster the will to understand you, you would accuse me of antipathy. But should I do it at all?

The will to understand is not achieved by effort.

But back to
a) the buds in their inherent radio transmissions which in my view conflict with
b) being fair to my brain

Willing to understand means putting in the effort. At least I have managed to understand some people by doing so. The intention(s) that has/have encouraged you to start this discussion are really hard to understand though, therefore I am not putting any more effort in…

Well thanks for engaging, it seems it has taken some effort and you are not the only one unable to understand. I will look at it again but I have this feeling it will make sense to me.

I have an the odd acquaintance here and there and will run it by them to see how they deal with it.

It’s not that uncommon, that what is clear to me is so fuzzy or cloudy or even invisible to others.

As far as

Willing to understand means putting in the effort.

If this is how your mind works I can see you may well have difficulties understanding some precepts but I will probably create another topic on that if this continues to be mentioned herein.

Thanks again for your engagement.

You do not have to understand precepts, and you do not have to offend people with comments like this one…

Ok I will start a separate topic as mentioned to address your concerns, and will edit the above statement you find offensive.

Thanks for the feedback

Could you please remind that this a not a private forum for you? Could you please have your personal discussions in a private forum/message or just stop it? Its really disturbing.


Anyway, for now to avoid the question of understanding my view I am providing a link to an article that deals with some of the more technical issues surrounding bluetooth emissions via headphones.

But to clarify I do not accept all the premises that are contained in the article. The first part deals with the maths of EMF which is in line with my understanding but the latter part of applications is short of some views I have.

Anyway for anyone concerned about bluetooth radio transmissions from earbuds it’s a starting place, for others it may just cloud up a sunny day.

Regarding the aforementioned article

Unlike microwaves, Bluetooth headphones don’t use around 850 to 1800 W to function. Instead, Bluetooth headphones normally emit a maximum of only 100 mW—that’s 8,500 to 18,000 times less than the power output of microwaves.

I have commented elsewhere on the maths of this notion of the strength of signal.

The maths are that distance is a really big deal 100mw close to your ear is more powerful than 100mw in another room, in terms of heating, which is one accepted damage EMF may cause…
Starting with a estimate that the tissue around the earbud may be only 0.5cm away from the 100mW then according to the inverse square law relevant to the dispersion of EMF let’s draw a parallel with an ear in a microwave of emitting 800W some 10cm away.

At 5cm that would be 200w, at 2.5cm 50w at 1.25cm some 7w at 0.625 only 3.5watts

So the comparison for the tissue in contact with the ear bud would be nearer 300 to 1 not the 8,000 to 18,500 as in the article.

Next consider the time of cooking. The ear in the microwave may be fried very quickly due to the water drying out. The ear in the body keeps cooler as there is the cooling mechanics of the blood. This doesn’t mean the ear flesh won’t get uncomfortably warm and produce distress.

So did anyone consider this as an issue that compromises the notion of Fairphone as a sustainable device that benefits the consumer, my argument is that I don’t see how that is an improvement for the consumer over a jack socket though there is a note that the radio waves of the phone travel up the earphone wire, but I often use the phone as a media player in aeroplane mode etc.

Generally I avoid earphones and headsets, but many people are regular users.

I “simply” prefer a wired headset because I don’t need to recharge it. I use Bluetooth in some situations, but not for this. So if a headphone connector is really missing like in “all those other phones”, I will definitley not buy it. Or maybe they want you to buy a USB adapter for it?


I wouldn’t buy a phone without a 3.5mm jack either. I hope there is a jack fitted as without one it would rule FF4 out as a potential replacement for me. Not that I’m planning to replace my FF3 until it kicks the bucket… Well unless the FF4 is just so irresistable I have to have one then I’ll be in the queue for another 2 year payment plan!

Though I prefer bluetooth headphones, there is always a pair of wired headphones in my bag for when the bluetooth battery goes flat. I’ve done my time with phones that need headphone apapters. Just an extra breakable bit of kit to remember! Plus it adds to the carbon footprint of the phone.


Radio waves don’t damage your body. They can only heat you up, if they’re strong enough. And with strong I mean a high energy output, like a microwave. A microwave and Bluetooth have a thing in common, they both use the 2.4GHz frequency. Just like WiFi. But your phone and router don’t use a kilowatt of power. A higher frequency won’t make a difference either, such as 5GHz WiFi. It’s not ionizing radiation, so it can’t damage your cells and thus doesn’t trigger cancer.

You can buy an adapter for your 3.5mm headphones. The only reason that sucked with my Pixel phone was because my battery doesn’t last very long. So using the same connection for your audio and power is kinda problematic. But with a FP you can swap the battery.

2.4GHz is all around you, if you use Bluetooth or not. It uses the ISM band, a very common and popular used range of radio frequencies, for a very long time. There is no proof it causes damage to our health.

I’m not aware of your expertise but I worked on radar in the Royal Navy and whereas you are right in that heat develops, it happens even at very low levels, and can be uncomfortable and psychologically damaging once it’s noticed.

Further another oft unmentioned aspect is resonance, 2.4Ghz will resonate on any form around 12.5cm which can effect lobes and scull partitions, etc.

Whereas the impacts may not be obviously serious, over time they may also produce a numbing effect.

For example every object has a resonant frequency and acts as an antenna.

If all you hair is 1cm long you will pick up 30Gh a lot more than someone with hair of various lengths.

Whereas these may not be as damaging as the words of politicians and religious zealots to ignore them would imply a lack of awareness of physics both tradition and molecular.

I absolutly agree with you, if there is no headphone connector I will not buy the FP4.

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