Mobile phone risk during storms
The next time you're talking on your cell phone in the midst of a storm may want to cut the conversation short.
UK, doctors have warned of the danger of lightning when using mobile phones outdoors during the stormy weather.
In the British Medical Journal, highlighted the case of a teenager left with serious injuries after being struck by lightning when talking on his phone.
The metal in the phone directs the current into the body, they say.
A 15-year-old was hit by lightning while talking on his phone in a large park in London during stormy weather.
She has no recollection of the incident, but suffered a cardiac arrest and had to be resurrected.
A year later, she has to use a wheelchair and has severe physical difficulties and brain damage that has caused emotional and cognitive problems.
At the hearing where he was holding the phone, she has a burst eardrum and persistent hearing loss.
When a person is hit by lightning, the high resistance of human skin causes the lightning charge to flow over the body - often known as "flashover outside."
But some current can flow through the body. The more that flows through, the more internal damage it causes.
Materials drivers in direct contact with skin such as liquid or metal objects increases the risk that the current flowing through the body and therefore cause internal injuries.
A rare occurrence
Doctors at Northwick Park Hospital in London who treated the girl's hearing injuries found three other cases of people affected by lightning while talking on a cell phone - all of whom died of their wounds - in China, Korea and Malaysia.
They said that although there are rare cases it is a public health problem and people needed to understand the risks.
Swinda Esprit, a doctor in the ear, nose and throat department said: "It is obvious, but in reality we all carry mobile phones and not thinking about it.
"If you're struck by lightning in their own flash over your body but if you're holding a phone to internalize and cause much worse injuries.
"Children in particular do not realize the risk.
"In Australia have guidelines, and one of the things they say is not to hold off mobile phones during storms."
Says Dr Esprit mobile phone manufacturers should warn consumers of hazards.
Paul Taylor, a scientist at the Meteorological Office said it could also be dangerous to carry a cellphone in his pocket during a storm.
"It is well known within the thunderstorm detection community that the use or carrying metallic objects can increase the likelihood of injury.
"It certainly adds to the intensity of damage to the skin and the article certainly amplifies here.
"I would treat a mobile phone as another piece of metal that people tend to take their people as coins and rings."
But Ramsey Farragh group astrophysics at Cambridge University, said in the BMJ: "stab a metal pole into the ground and holding it is asking for trouble.
"But the holding of a very small amount of metal inside an isolated case plastic is unlikely to increase the electric field strength sufficient to increase the risk of a strike well beyond."
Chris Abraham of the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Commission association of agreement.
He added: "The risk is that people can not have their mobile phones with them to call emergency services if someone is struck by lightning."
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Mobile phone risk during storms
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Disadvantages of Mobile Phones Use - causes Hyperactivity in Children
First, as they say, I have to declare an interest: I hate mobile phones with a passion more normal people reserve for politicians, boy bands and traffic wardens.
Anyway, this one had me smiling like a loon:
A study of more than 13,000 children in Denmark claims to show a link between use of handheld telephones by pregnant women and problems such as hyperactivity in their children. The programme surveyed 13,159 children born in the late 1990s. Results showed that mothers who did use handsets were 54 per cent more likely to have children with behavioural problems. That figure increased to 80 per cent when the children also later used the phones themselves.
This, of course, won’t stop people using mobile phones - and I have to say I’m not convinced this study is very useful. I mean, even if the observations are correct, it doesn’t quite prove a causal link between mobile phone use and hyperactivity in children.
It might just be that life in the West has now become so hectic that children become more hyperactive because of that. Mobile phone use could simply be a part of that. Take away the mobile phones and these children might still become hyperactive.
Be that as it may, it set me thinking. Mostly, what would make people give up their mobile phones? At the moment most people seem to think it’s their unalienable, God-given right to yak on the damn things whenever they want and wherever they are. Take away their mobiles and the rioting may be worse than during any of Europe’s past food riots.
So, if this study would prove to be right - and if, for instance, those other studies about mobile phone use and brain cancer would prove to be true: would that be enough for people to chuck away their mobiles? Somehow, I doubt it.
It makes for a lovely image, doesn’t it? That just to be able to talk drivel like ‘I’m on the train now’ people would risk getting tumours and be happy enough to raise a new generation of hyperactive little monsters. It would make a nice epitaph for humankind though,
“Here lies a species that just couldn’t stop yakking”.
I heard about the disconnect anxiety. More a case of ‘I don’t want to give it up’ than ‘I can’t give it up’ , I would think. If, by some benevolent act of magic, no mobile phone would work any longer in the whole wide world, I’m sure most people would adapt to this quickly and well enough.
People like these obnoxious toys a lot though, so it would be fun to see what they would sacrifice before they voluntarily would give them up: the health & happiness of their children? Their own health - like if it would be shown beyond doubt that using a mobile could be linked to brain tumours the way cigarettes are linked to lung cancer?
None of the negative reports on the consequences of mobile phone use have been very convincing or conclusive yet but it will be interesting to see what happens if mobile phone use would be proven to be seriously bad for you and your loved ones.
Probably not all that much, of course. Look at how many people get killed by cars each year world wide and almost nobody is suggesting it would be better if we all stopped using them,