Are Walkie Talkies Safe To Use? A Comprehensive Look

Walkie Talkies have been a staple in communication for decades, providing a convenient way for people to stay connected over short and long distances. They are especially favored for outdoor activities, adventures, and in workplaces that demand constant and instant communication. However, the question of their safety has often surfaced. In this post, we will delve into the safety of walkie talkies, looking at potential health risks, precautions to take, and steps to ensure their safe usage.

What Are Walkie Talkies?

Walkie talkies are portable two-way radios that allow for communication over various distances. They operate using radio waves on specific frequencies and can work without the need for a network infrastructure, unlike cell phones. Walkie talkies are commonly used in public safety, business operations, and recreational activities.

The Health Safety of Walkie Talkies

One of the primary safety concerns around walkie talkies revolves around exposure to radio frequency (RF) energy, a type of electromagnetic field (EMF).

Electromagnetic Fields and RF Exposure

Like all devices that use radio waves, walkie talkies emit low-levels of RF energy. Concerns have been raised about the potential health impacts of long-term exposure to these emissions, with parallels drawn to cell phone usage. However, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the amount of RF energy produced by devices like walkie talkies is not harmful to humans.

See also  Comprehensive Guide: Understanding RF Power in CB Radios

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also regulates the amount of RF energy that can be emitted by handheld two-way radios. The FCC’s guidelines limit the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR)—a measure of the rate at which energy is absorbed by the human body when exposed to an RF electromagnetic field—to a maximum of 1.6 watts per kilogram. Most walkie talkies operate at far lower power levels, well within these safe guidelines.

Precautions to Ensure Safe Use

Adequate Distance

Even though the RF energy emitted is generally low and considered safe, it’s advisable to maintain some distance between the device and your body while transmitting, especially if you use them often or for extended periods.

Proper Maintenance

Keep your devices well-maintained. Malfunctioning units can have issues like battery leaks or overheating, which could pose risks.

Follow Manufacturer’s Guidelines

Always adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines. These usually include safety precautions, optimal usage tips, and maintenance guidelines.

Use Approved Accessories

Only use accessories, such as batteries and chargers, that are approved by the device’s manufacturer. This will prevent potential safety issues that could arise from incompatible equipment.

Environmental Safety and Walkie Talkies

A well-maintained walkie talkie is not only safe for the user but also for the environment. Walkie talkies have a long lifespan compared to cell phones, which results in less electronic waste. Plus, the ability of these devices to function without a network infrastructure reduces energy consumption on a broader scale.

FAQ Section

Q: Are walkie talkies safe for children? A: Yes, walkie talkies are safe for children to use. Just ensure that they understand how to use them properly and follow all safety guidelines.

See also  Breaking the Myth: Do CB Radios Need Antennas?

Q: Can the use of walkie talkies lead to cancer? A: According to the current research and understanding of the World Health Organization and the Federal Communications Commission, there is no concrete evidence to suggest that the low-level RF energy emitted by walkie talkies is harmful or can lead to conditions such as cancer.

Q: Is it safe to use walkie talkies during a thunderstorm? A: While the chance of getting struck by lightning due to walkie talkie use is extremely low, it’s recommended to avoid using any radio devices during a thunderstorm to be on the safe side. This is especially true if you’re in an open area.

Q: What is the safe distance to maintain while using a walkie talkie? A: There isn’t a specified “safe distance”, but as a good practice, don’t hold the device directly against your body while transmitting, especially if you use them for extended periods or on a daily basis.

Q: Can walkie talkies interfere with other devices? A: Walkie talkies can sometimes cause interference with other electronic devices, especially if those devices are also using radio frequencies. However, these instances are rare and usually do not pose any safety risks.


Walkie talkies, despite the occasional misconceptions, are generally safe for use. The health and environmental impacts of these devices are minimal, especially when compared to those of other electronic communication devices. Like with any technology, proper usage, maintenance, and following the manufacturer’s guidelines are key to ensuring the safety and longevity of your device.

Remember, although RF energy emission concerns are often brought up with walkie talkies and similar devices, reputable health and safety organizations have consistently maintained that the exposure levels are well within safe limits. So, whether you’re out on an adventure or coordinating in a workplace setting, walkie talkies offer a practical and safe means of communication.

See also  Cracking the Code: A Guide to CB Radio Lingo

Leave a Comment