Sun | Sep 24, 2017

No immediate health risks linked to bluetooth headsets

Published:Sunday | November 8, 2015 | 11:00 AMShereita Grizzle
Tifa was just one of the many entertainers who came out to the #QuietSKYY launch for a first experience of the silent-party phenomenon that hit Jamaican shores recently.
Shane the Firestarter was one of the DJs on board for the #QuietSKYY launch satisfying the patrons who wanted to hear EDM.
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Last Monday, Quiet Jamaica launched the concept of 'silent disco' in Jamaica at the newly opened nightclub 100. The phenomenon, also known as quiet clubbing, is a growing trend worldwide that requires party promoters to trade in the traditional sound system for a sleek pair of bluetooth headsets.

Since the launch, the phenomenon of silent discos has been the subject of much conversation over the past week. Many have voiced their support for the emerging party trend, saying that it is a very innovative way for party promoters to avoid trouble with the law as the music being played at the venue isn't disturbing anyone.

Some persons have also thrown their support behind the event because of the power patrons have to control what they listen to. If one doesn't enjoy the musical offerings of a particular deejay, one can simply switch frequencies to another DJ. Although there are many who support the idea of silent parties, there are those who are concerned about the possible health risks associated with the main instrument behind the party's success: the bluetooth headsets.

Since the emergence of bluetooth technology, there have been numerous studies conducted to help highlight the health risks associated with wearing the equipment. With the introduction of silent parties in Jamaica, The Sunday Gleaner thought it necessary to also explore the possible health risks that may arise from this budding trend.

 

Health and safety

 

In recent times, some health and safety interest groups have put forward reports to suggest that the use of wireless devices such as headsets may be linked to cancer and other illnesses. However, when The Sunday Gleaner spoke to ear, nose, and throat specialist Dr Nickola Nelson, she revealed that there were no immediate health risks associated with wearing bluetooth headsets. "The research that links the use of these technologies to numerous health issues is inconclusive," she said. "To date, there is not enough scientific evidence to link exposure to radio-frequency energy from these devices with any known health problems."

She went on to explain that as far as radiation is concerned, bluetooth technology emits far less than, say, cell phones. "The reason bluetooth technology was invented in the first place was to reduce the exposure of radiation from devices such as cell phones. They emit far less radiation than cell phones and are much safer," she explained. "This is not to say that there aren't health problems that could arise from using these devices, but these problems can only arise if the technology is used over prolonged periods."

Nelson, however, advised party-goers to take precautionary measures when using these devices at events. "While there are no immediate risks, I would advise persons not to use these devices for too long and to minimise the volume of the music being played through these headsets," she warned. "If persons play the music too loudly, in the long term, they may suffer hearing loss."

Quiet events usually has two or three DJs who play different genres of music throughout the night. The music is transmitted to the headsets via radio frequency. Each DJ is assigned a frequency and a colour, and whenever a patron is listening to a particular DJ, his headsets light up with the DJ's assigned colour.

As long as you have your headsets on, you are part of the event, but the moment you take them off, all you hear around you is silence.

Quiet Jamaica is the exclusive partner for Quiet Events New York. They, along with Skyy Vodka, are responsible for introducing the idea of silent discos to Jamaican public.

shereita.grizzle@gleanerjm.com