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Cell Phone Charging Danger

Cell Phone Charging Danger

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Published by 120shal
Cell Phone Charging Danger.
Cell Phone Charging Danger.

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: 120shal on May 12, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/12/2012

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Cell Phone Charging Danger
Summary:
 
Email forward warns that answering a cell phone while it is being charged canelectrocute the user
Status:
 
May be possible if equipment is faulty, but the warning highly exaggerates the riskunder normal conditions.
Update: January 2008
 
A new version of the message includes unrelated photographs of an exploded cellphone on a bed and the injury apparently caused to the phone user. (Details incommentary below)
Example:
(Submitted, September 2005)
 
Subject: Don't answer a cell phone while it's being charged
Don't answer a cellphone while it's being chargedDon't answer a cell phone while it is being CHARGED!! A fewdays ago, a person was recharging his cell phone at home.Just at that time a call came through and he attended to it; withthe instrument still connected to the mains After a fewseconds electricity flowed into the cell phone unrestrained andthe person was thrown to the ground with a heavy thud.His parents rushed into the room only to find himunconscious, with weak heartbeats and burnt fingers. He wasrushed to the nearby hospital, but was pronounced dead onarrival. A Cell phone is a very useful modern invention.However, we must be aware that it can also be an instrumentof death.Never use the cell phone while it is hooked to the mains!
 
Commentary:
 
Versions of this warning email have now been circulating for several years. Thewarning may have been originally derived from an August 2004 Indian news reportthat describes the electrocution death of a man who answered his mobile phonewhile it was charging. According to the report, 31-year-old K. Viswajith "waselectrocuted when he attended a call on the mobile phone that was put for charging."In 2005, another report identified the victim as a Nigerian
 
man and used very similar wording to the examplequoted above.While the original report of Mr. Viswajith's death isprobably true, details about the incident are quite vague,and I could find no subsequent reports that confirm theactual cause of death. Even if the charging cell phonewas the cause of death, the incident does not mean thatusing a mobile phone while it is
 
charging
always
represents a significant risk of electrocution. This is clearly untrue.
 
Of course,
any
device that is connected to mains power is potentially unsafe if thedevice is faulty or is used inappropriately.If an inherent risk of electrocution were present during normal battery charging,mobile phone manufacturers would ensure that customers were aware of it. Theywould not expose themselves to multi-million dollar legal actions by neglecting tomake users aware of this potential risk. There would also be well-publicizedwarnings from government authorities and various consumer groups. Moreover, themedia would certainly not remain silent on the issue.When describing the incident, the message states that "after a few secondselectricity flowed into the cell phone unrestrained" and thus electrocuted the user.
 
Obviously, this is
not
what is meant to happen, and would only occur if the chargingand battery system were not working as intended. An article about battery charger
 
cubes on Howstuffworks.com explains how such cubes transform normal householdAC current down to a low voltage DC current. Thus, if the charger is workingcorrectly, no high voltage charge should ever reach a person using the device.Notably, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission does not identify using acell phone while it is being charged as an unsafe practice in itsarticle about CellPhone Battery Safety. 
 
This warning may also be fuelled by numerous incidences of exploding cell phones. 
 
There have been a number of well-documented reports about mobile phone batteriesexploding and these explosions have injured some people. In late 2007, a version ofthe warning began circulating that contained the following photographs of anexploded cell phone on a bed and the injury apparently caused to the phone user:
©iStockphoto.com/KMITU 

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