Corded and Low EMF Cordless Telephones


This page last updated January 22, 2017.

Corded Telephones

For all of our clients, especially those who are electrically sensitive, we recommend discontinuing cordless telephones and using corded hardwired phones plugged into telephone jacks connected to a landline. Your cordless phone base unit can transmit high and unhealthy radio frequency EMF levels of several thousand microWatts per meter squared (µW/m2). We consider levels of 1,000 µW/m2 and above to be an extreme anomaly level in sleeping areas. We recommend levels of 100 µW/m2 or below as being safe in daytime areas, and below 10 µW/m2 in sleeping areas for healthy people. If you are electrically sensitive, we strive to keep your radio frequency EMF levels closer to 10 µW/m2 or even lower.

You can purchase from a variety of corded telephone models available from Amazon by clicking HERE.

Be aware that not all models listed on that page are completely corded. In fact, always be sure to avoid a model that also has a cordless unit in the box, as that means that besides having a corded handset, it also has a radio frequency transmitter inside the base unit.

Low-EMF Gigaset DECT Cordless Telephones with ECO Mode Plus

Low EMF DECT cordless telephones with ECO Mode have been available in Europe for years. DECT stands for Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunication technology. ECO Mode phones have features not available in cordless telephones sold in the US, and are primarily made to reduce electricity consumption.

Manufacturers accomplish this by reducing the radio frequency transmitter in the base unit when a call is not being made and the handset is in its cradle, or shutting off that transmitter altogether. They also reduce the strength of the signal coming from the base unit when a call is in progress and you are holding the handset in your hand.

Regular DECT cordless telephones for sale in the US have very strong levels of radio frequency EMFs when in use from the handset and the base unit, as strong or stronger than from cell phones.

More importantly, these same radio frequency EMF levels continue to be emitted from the base unit when the call is over and you place the handset back in its charging cradle. The base unit is the device with the cord to the telephone jack in the wall or on the back of your Internet router. (This does not occur from an extension handset placed in its charging cradle.) So, don’t have a cordless phone base unit on your bedside table.

A phone with ECO Mode will have an 80% reduction of radio frequency transmission from the base unit when it is in standby mode, a call is not in progress and the handset is in its charging cradle. The transmitter in the base unit also reduces its power depending upon how far you walk away from the base unit when on a call. This can be up to 80% when you select ECO Mode.

Phones with ECO Mode Plus go further than that. They turn off the radio frequency transmitter in the base unit completely when the phone is in standby mode.

While we strongly recommend that you choose a corded telephone over a cordless one, for those [ep[;e who feel they still need to use a cordless phone, purchase one of the following models with Eco DECT Plus (it must be Plus, not just ECO Mode). These are made and sold in Europe, but they are available in the US from eBay.

Here are two Gigaset models with ECO Mode Plus. Both phones come with a built-in answering machine:

Siemens Gigaset AS405A Duo Cordless DECT Phone This model has a second handset and charging cradle, and is expandable up to six handsets.

Siemens Gigaset C620A DECT Cordless Phone This model has a second handset and charging cradle, and is expandable up to six handsets.

Since these are both European phones, you will need an adapter to convert the round prongs used in Europe to the flat blades used in the US. These phones can be plugged into the 120 Volt outlets we have in the US. The vendor will send you an adapter for free with the C620A. The vendor for the AS405A says to contact them when ordering to tell them you need an adapter.

You will notice in the features section for both phones on their eBay listings, under the section entitled ECO DECT, it says, "Transmitting power at almost zero when handset docked" and "Radiation-free ECO Mode Plus". If you choose any other model, you are looking for a cordless phone with ECO DECT Mode Plus that has the features quoted above. Otherwise, the phone will continue to transmit potentially harmful radio frequency EMFs into the room when in standby mode. This is explained in detail on the UK website, EMFields, accessed by clicking here. (EMFields also sells the Gigaset AS405A and C620a phones, but not to customers in the US.)

Lastly, be aware that if you choose one of these models with ECO Mode or ECO Mode Plus, you are exposing your head and anyone else around you to extremely high and potentially harmful radio frequency EMFs from the handset when you are on a call, even if you hold it at arm’s length.

For that reason, at least hold the handset away from you and use the speaker function (if it has one on the handset) or plug in an ear phone to the handset that you hold away from your body, which you can do with the C620A DECT Cordless Phone (and maybe the AS405A). Both phones also say they have “hands free talking” capability, meaning the base unit has a speaker phone function.

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