Friday, June 23, 2006

More bad mobile phone science?

BBC NEWS | Health | Mobile phone risk during storms: "UK doctors have warned of the danger of lightning strikes when using mobile phones outdoors during stormy weather.

In the British Medical Journal, they highlight the case of a teenager with very severe injuries after being struck by lightning when talking on her phone.

The metal in the phone directs the current into the body, they say."

Another mobile phone scare - it seems to me that these doctors are trying to make a case based on just four incidents across the world. Could it simply be that the number of people using their mobile phone outside has gone up and the danger is being outside.
Just think about this logically. If the metal in a mobile phone poses a danger in a storm then other things should also carry a warning. Bicycles, prams, wheelchairs, zips, cash, steel toe caps, and underwired bras.

This story ranks alongside the stories about the dangers of mobile phone masts near schools and living under power lines. I don't read of fewer people using mobile phones or electricity as a result of these scares. Bad science - good headlines. I wonder - did those doctors who've written to the British Medical Journal simply want a headline. I trust not. The sad thing is that the BBC appears to have reported it without reference to a scientist.


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