I was talking to my husband’s aunt today, who I respect greatly. She was passing on information to me that she received via email about someone being killed by talking on their cell phone while it was charging at the outlet. Supposedly, it electrocuted this young man who answered it, while it charged. She was very concerned, and the email had instructed her to pass on the information. She received the email from a trusted friend, and she had no reason to be skeptical of the source.
I, on the other hand, always look at everything as a skeptic after many years on the Internet. I immediately began to remember the warnings about not dimming your lights, and other urban myths I had seen making the Email circuits down the years. I reassured her I would tell my husband and kids, in the back of my mind, kind of pooh-poohing it.
I had a little time today, and I thought I would do a little research on what was going on with the Cell Phone Urban Myths……..Well, what a surprise!
To start with, someone did get shocked through talking on their cell phone while it charged, but it is not as much of a big danger, as you would gather from the email that is circulating. The assumption on most websites is that there would have to be something wrong with the charger or phone charging portal. But, it did and can happen. So, I will probably avoid sitting and yacking on a charging phone. The cautionary remarks encourage you to be careful of getting your phone wet, damaging the charging devices by dropping them, etc…So, the point is, how would you know something was wrong with your phone charging system? Not something that will be happening every day, but definitely a danger. (Christenson) (Mikkelson)
What about those exploding cell phone batteries? Surely that is an Urban Myth? Not so! There are many official reports of injuries sustained from exploding cell phone batteries. (Harvey) (Times Online) There are even sites with attorneys soliciting clients who have had injuries from exploding cell phone batteries. ( Williams Kherkher)
It seems to have lessened in frequency since 2004. Analog phones have been phased out, which may account for some of this? Also, one brand name mentioned a lot in these incidents is a certain Kyocera model phone, and has been basically retired. However, it is a reality that many people don’t replace their cell phones very often, so some may still be in use.
Almost always, the exploding batteries have been attributed to low-quality, off-brand batteries being used instead of the authorized, factory-approved cell phone batteries. Don’t take a chance on your cell phone battery replacements to save money!
So, is this something we should worry about? I don’t know how much of an everyday worry this should be now, in 2010, but this is still very much a danger to be considered. Especially, you should worry about your cell phone exploding at the gas pump. Almost any website you consult will tell you to leave your phone in the car when pumping gas. This is no Urban Legend. In case you didn’t know, you shouldn’t smoke when pumping gas, either!
What about brain tumors, which have been associated with cell phones since their introduction to the general public. Having a dear friend recently diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor, I was particularly interested in this. I was hoping to find that there is no validity to this worry. While there is not a lot of clear-cut research on this, the experts will admit that the radiation is the same as other household appliances. The evidence is just not in yet on this. It sure makes you think! If you want to know where you cell phone device stands on the radiation charts, check out the article below by Jennifer Johnson. I was surprised to see my beloved Blackberry ranks #6!
I can’t finish this discussion without a reference to all the accidents caused by cell phone use while driving. Most states are outlawing cell phone or texting use while driving, the accidents continue. You are 4 times more likely to have an accident when using your cell phone while behind the wheel. (Labovik) Of all the things you can stress with your teens and young adults is this fact. This is just common sense!
Brett Christenson, Cell Phone Charging Danger Warning Email,Latest Email Hoaxes – Current Internet Scams – Hoax-Slayer
Mike Harvey, “Man killed by ‘exploding mobile phone’ – Times Online.” Technology News & Web News | Times Online.
Jennifer Johnson, “Cell Phone Radiation Debate Continues – HotHardware.” HotHardware.com – Technology Tested and Burned In.
Labovik. “Cell phone use while driving stats and car crashes : Injury Law Blog.” Injury Law Blog : Florida Injury Lawyer & Attorney : LaBovick & LaBovick Law Firm:
“Man killed by ‘exploding mobile phone’ – Times Online.” Technology News & Web News | Times Online.
Barbara and David Mikkelson, “Snopes.com: Cell Phone Recharging Electrocution.” Snopes.com: Urban Legends Reference Pages.
Williams Kherkher. “The Explosive Danger of your Cell Phone, Texas Explosion Lawyers | Williams Kherkher.” Texas Explosion Lawyers,