23 June 2006

Struck By Lightning

.....while using your mobile phone outside during a thunderstorm. Yes, you would think it isn't possible but actual reports say otherwise.
People should not use mobile phones outdoors during thunderstorms because of the risk of being struck by lightning, doctors said on Friday.

Esprit and other doctors at the hospital added in a letter to the British Medical Journal that usually when someone is struck by lightning, the high resistance of the skin conducts the flash over the body in what is known as a flashover.

But if a metal object, such as a phone, is in contact with the skin it disrupts the flashover and increases the odds of internal injuries and death.

The doctors added that three fatal cases of lightning striking people while using mobile phones have been reported in newspapers in China, South Korea and Malaysia.

[Reuters, 22 June 2006]

Be careful.

3 reactions:

Duke said...

I've heard of this a long time ago and I thought it was just one of those silly jokes that people pass around.

So it can actually happen?! Good thing I'm not a mobile phone addictus. I even (purposely) forget mine when I go out ;)

bayibhyap said...

Yes, I remember a report about such an incident in the Malaysian papers, accompanied by a warning to avoid using the mobile phone in the open during a thunderstorm.

Stephen said...

Lightning strikes the Earth only about once a second, on average. Which is to say, not very often. It's a small world, but not that small.

My guess is that your risk of being struck by lightning while in your car isn't changed much by having a cell phone in your ear. If you are driving, however, talking on your cell raises your chance of an accident to closer to DWI. And, those around you may pray that you are struck by lightning...