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Are 2-way radios as dangerous as cell phones?

Discussion in 'General Electronics' started by Mike, Jan 23, 2005.

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  1. Mike

    Mike Guest


    We purchased some 2-way radios for our children this Christmas. Since
    then, lately, there has been much media attention regarding cell phone
    usage being dangerous for children. These scientific studies suggest
    that children under 14 years of age shouldn't use cell phones because
    their skulls are not thick enough to protect their developing brains
    from the EMF exposure form cell phones.

    Do 2-way radios present the same problem as cell phones? Should I not
    allow our children to use these 2-way radios?

    Here are the specs of our 2 Way Radios:


    "Talk About"


    operating frequency:
    UHF-462.550 - 467.725 MHz

    There is a note in the Motorola fr50 manual regarding the safety of
    using these radios due to EMF. It indicates to keep the radio 2 - 3
    inches from your mouth when transmitting and to keep the antenae at
    least 1 inch away from head and body when transmitting.

    However, considering these recent newer published studies pointing to
    possible dangers of using cell phones is it reasonable to conclude that
    children under 14 also shouldn't be using 2-way radios such as the
    Motorolla fr50s or perhaps any 2-way radio?
  2. Mike

    Mike Guest

    I should also mention that the fr50 has a range of 2 miles. It uses 3 AA
    batteries and so I would assume it is about 4.5 volts.
  3. Rich Webb

    Rich Webb Guest

    AFAIK, the hazard associated with non-ionizing radiation (i.e., the
    stuff that's below gamma rays, X-rays, and the like) is localized tissue

    There are studies that do demonstrate a statistical significance with
    respect to a correlation between non-ionizing radiation and [enter
    pathology here]. Be aware that the effects being studied are subtle and
    occur naturally at a very low level. We are not talking "Place hand in
    fire, observe blistered and charred tissue" here. If the probability of
    the observed effects occurring by chance, when all other contributing
    factors are accounted for [*], is small (e.g, 5%) then a correlation may
    be said to have been found at that significance level.

    When multiple similar studies are performed, a correlation that is only
    likely to occur 5% of the time frequently does occur 5% of the time.
    Relying on (cherry picking) a single study that supports a particular
    outcome is not wise.

    Lawyers, however, are paid to be advocates and if Little Johnny has the
    bad luck to develop a cerebral pathology and the cell phone manufacturer
    has the bad luck to have made the phone that Little Johnny used for
    several hours each day then lawyer "A" will find an expert witness "B"
    to testify that study "C" clearly shows a statistically significant
    correlation between cell phone usage and brain tumors.

    [*] Controlling for all other contributing factors is hard and a
    favorite place to attack when arguing against the validity of a
    particular study.
  4. Karl Uppiano

    Karl Uppiano Guest

    Junk science is just new-age superstition.
  5. spetree

    spetree Guest

    For more information, I'll refer you to any or all of the following
    links for further information; and;

    These are the US govt's sites.

    Here is an Australian site;

    My own opinion is that low levels of radio energy should NOT cause any
    problems, especially compared to many other common hazards, around the
    household, or school. That said, these are not my children, so you
    need to make up your own mind after you've been adequately informed
    as to the hazards, and reviewing the sites above. To be sure there
    is sometimes conflicting, and contradictory stories going around,
    some of it fired by litigation, so beware of the source.

    Posted at:
  6. jim w

    jim w Guest

    These radios are terribly dangerous to both children and adults. Please,
    for your own safety, put the radios back in their original packaging,
    and mail them to me for proper disposal

    - jim
  7. Mike

    Mike Guest

    Thanks everyone for all this helpful info.

    I think I will just encourage them to hold the radio and antenna away
    from the head.

    This quote that Steve pointed out is particularily relevant. Thanks Steve,


    Unlike cellular telephones, which transmit continuously throughout a
    call, two-way radios normally transmit only when the "press-to-talk"
    button is depressed. This significantly reduces exposure, and there is
    no evidence that there would be a safety hazard associated with exposure
    from vehicle-mounted, two-way antennas when the manufacturer's
    recommendations are followed.

    Hand-held "two-way" portable radios such as walkie-talkies are
    low-powered devices used to transmit and receive messages over
    relatively short distances. Because of the low power levels used, the
    intermittency of these transmissions ("push-to-talk"), and due to the
    fact that these radios are held away from the head, they should not
    expose users to RF energy in excess of safe limits. Therefore, the FCC
    does not require routine documentation of compliance with safety limits
    for push-to-talk two-way radios as it does for cellular and PCS phones
    (which transmit continuously during use and which are held against the

    Otherwise from readig all the info, if there is a risk it is probably small.
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