Be Aware : Cell Phone in a Thunderstorm

Be Aware : Cell Phone in a Thunderstorm

It seems Americans have a lot to talk about. U.S. cell phone subscribers racked up more than a trillion minutes of cell phone talk time in one year alone, according to the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA).

However, people don't just use cell phones to talk. Thanks to text messaging, mobile downloads and Internet access, today's phones provide a variety of services at the touch of a few buttons. For instance, 4INFO, a mobile search company, delivers information and entertainment right to people's mobile phones. By simply sending a text message to their short code 44636, people can get instant information about things such as flight times, stock quotes, movie times, weather forecasts, business listings, sports scores and player stats. The service works over any phone and it's free.

Some mobile search companies also let people search using a Web browser-so if you have a "WAP" phone or can access the Web, results can come in any format. Best of all, it's free, easy and once you've found the number you want, it's automatically stored in your phone. No more expensive calls to 411. Anyone with a cell phone can begin using the service instantly.

Despite,cell phone user increasing sharply day by day sometimes you may have in danger in thunderstorm weather.

Citing the case of a 15-year-old girl struck by lightning while using her cell phone in a London park last year, some doctors are warning against the outdoor use of the devices during stormy weather.

The girl survived, but is confined to a wheelchair, has lost some hearing in the ear she was holding the phone to, and suffers a variety of physical, cognitive and emotional problems. She has no memory of the incident because she also suffered cardiac arrest at the time.

"This rare phenomenon is a public health issue, and education is necessary to highlight the risk of using mobile phones outdoors during stormy weather to prevent future fatal consequences from lightning-strike injuries related to mobile phones," three British doctors write in the June 24 issue of the British Medical Journal.

But other experts point to a number of variables that could have played a role in the accident.

"I am not aware of any research on a cell phone being a particular attractor of lightning," said John Drengenberg, manager of consumer affairs at Underwriters Laboratories Inc., in Northbrook, Ill. "There's nothing that would indicate they would attract lightning other than the fact that this girl with her cell phone and antenna would be something that would be the only thing that lightning would go to in that area."

Lightning is the second-leading weather-related source of fatalities in the United States, according to the National Lightning Safety Institute. National Weather Service data notes that 400 people are struck and approximately 67 are killed each year by lightning -- more deaths than caused by hurricanes or tornadoes. Only floods are more deadly.

Almost three-quarters of people who survive a lightning strike suffer lifelong, severe complications and disabilities. Lightning also causes about $5 billion of economic loss each year in the United States.

According to the authors of the letter, the high resistance of human skin means that if lightning strikes, it is conducted over the skin without entering the body, resulting in a low death-rate phenomenon known as "flashover." But conductive materials such as liquids or metallic objects -- i.e. cell phones -- disrupt the flashover and result in internal injury with greater death rates, according to the three authors from Northwick Park Hospital in Middlesex, England.

The letter's authors could not find any similar cases reported in the medical literature, although they did find three cases reported in newspapers in China, Korea and Malaysia. In all these cases, the person died after being struck by lightning while using a mobile phone outside during a storm, the authors said.

The Australian Lightning Protection Standard recommends that metallic objects, including cordless or mobile phones, not be used or even carried outdoors during a thunderstorm.

People can take other common-sense precautions during a lightning storm, Drengenberg said:

Get inside during a thunderstorm, and don't use a landline telephone. "If lightning strikes in the area, it will come through the telephone lines and could go through you," he warned. Also, avoid electrical appliances such as washing machines or dishwashers.
Don't take a shower or wash dishes because lightning can travel through water pipes.
Don't stand near an open window on a hot day when there's a lightning storm. As the heat leaves the house through the window, it becomes a conduit for lightning.
If you find yourself stuck outside, avoid wide-open spaces and don't stand under a tree. Thanks to the saline composition of your blood, you are a better conductor of electricity than the tree.

You may also be interested in . . .


Since when are three British

Since when are three British doctors experts in the field of lightning strikes and the EM field effects of CDMA radio on lightning attraction? Maybe people standing outside are more apt to get struck by lightning? Maybe people use mobile phones more often?

Post new comment


African Travelers Should be Aware of Schistosomiasis / Snail Fever / Swimmer's Itch / Bilharzia

African Travelers Should be Aware of Schistosomiasis / Snail Fever / Swimmer's I Schistosomiasis is endemic in 76 tropical developing countries, and 600 million people are at risk for acquiring the disease. There are estimates that up to 200 million are already infected. Extreme

Mercury Contamination Over Environment

Mercury Contamination Over Environment Watersheds tend to concentrate mercury through erosion of mineral deposits and atmospheric deposition. Plants absorb mercury when wet but may emit it in dry air. Plant and sedimentary deposits in

Seasonal Allergy for Pollen (Allergen) Level Variation Depends on Environmental Conditions & Tips to Avoid

Seasonal Allergy for Pollen(Allergen) Level Variation Depends on Environmental C Pollen is a fine powder produced by certain plants when they reproduce. During the spring, summer, and fall seasons, it's released into the air and picked up by the wind, which brings it to other

Mites Infected Elks , Cows , Bulls Meat are Not as Tender as Meat from Healthy One

Mites Infected Elks , Cows , Bulls Meat are Not as Tender as Meat from Healthy O The number of elk in the Yellowstone National Park region infected with scabies, a skin infestation caused by mites, is up this year, state wildlife officials say. Scabies produces severe itching and

Environmental Change Due to Greenhouse Effect and Impact on our Health

Environmental Change Due to Greenhouse Effect and Impact on our Health The term "global warming" is a specific case of the more general term "climate change" (which can also refer to "global cooling," such as occurs during ice ages). In principle, "global warming" is

Graviola: its Effectiveness and Precautions

Graviola: its Effectiveness and Precautions Graviola extract contains chemicals called Annonaceous acetogenins. Different research groups have established that these chemicals have antitumorous properties.1-12 Acetogenins are inhibitors of

Allergic Reaction by Cold Air, Perfumes, Smoke etc. Triggers More than Seasonal Allergen

Allergic Reaction by Cold Air, Perfumes, Smoke etc. Triggers More than Seasonal Allergies are abnormal immune system reactions to things that are typically harmless to most people. When you're allergic to something, your immune system mistakenly believes that this substance is