Cordless home phones emit radio frequency radiation (RFR) – the same type of radiation as cell phones do. The cordless phone DECT base station emits RFR constantly, just like a mini cell tower in your home. Each handset sends signals to and from the base station. 

Although RFR  is as “non-ionizing” and “not the same’ as X-ray radiation, research has linked long-term cell phone use to brain cancer and other health impacts such as increased harmful free radicalsreproductive  impactsmemory deficits, behavioral problems, brain cancer, breast cancerDNA damage, and headaches. Reducing your exposure from RFR from cordless phones – in addition to cell phones- can decrease your daily dose of RFR.

Dr. Lennart Hardell and his team researched cancer in people who use cell phones and cordless phones.  Cancer was increased statistically significant both per 100 hours of cumulative use, and per year of  mobile and cordless phone use. Highest associations overall were found for ipsilateral (meaning use on one specific side of the head) mobile or cordless phone use. The highest risk was found for a tumor called glioma in the temporal lobe.  In his research, first use of mobile or cordless phone before the age of 20 gave higher OR for glioma than in later age groups.

  • Do not sleep next to a cordless phone base station.
  • Replace cordless phones with corded home phones. Many homes have plugs for phone lines though-out the house. In many cases, once you connect an activated phone-line to one, they all will work. 
  • Used a corded- not cordless-  home phone whenever possible to minimize the need for a cell phone.
  • Tip: Get a longer cord for the handset so you can wash the dishes and fold the laundry while talking on a corded phone.
  • No landline? You can plug a corded phone into your VOIP internet connection.  
  • The first step many people find easy to do is to unplug the cordless phones when not in use so at least the RFR exposure is decreased at night and for several hours a day. 

Hardell, L. and M. Carlberg. Mobile phone and cordless phone use and the risk for glioma – Analysis of pooled case-control studies in Sweden, 1997-2003 and 2007-2009. Pathophysiology, vol. 22, no. 1, 2015, pp. 1-13.

Hardell L, Carlberg M. Comments on the US National Toxicology Program technical reports on toxicology and carcinogenesis study in rats exposed to whole-body radiofrequency radiation at 900 MHz and in mice exposed to whole-body radiofrequency radiation at 1,900 MHz.Int J Oncol. 2019 Jan;54(1):111-127. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2018.4606. Epub 2018 Oct 24. PMID: 30365129; PMCID: PMC6254861.

Miller, A., Sears, M., Morgan, L., Davis, D., Hardell, L., Oremus, M., & Soskolne, C. (2019). Risks to Health and Well-Being From Radio-Frequency Radiation Emitted by Cell Phones and Other Wireless Devices. Frontiers In Public Health, 7. Source: Environmental Health Trust