British doctors warn against using mobile phones during thunderstorms

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,8122-2239243,00.html

I think these doctors are being a bit silly -- as they readily admit, mobile phones don't increase or decrease strike risk, they just (might) make matters a bit worse if you're directly struck. In addition, that applies to anything metal, not just cell phones -- car keys, jewelry, glasses, unbrellas, etc, though admittedly the problem with cellphones is that you hold them to your ear, a place where you wouldn't want the strike to enter the body. Of course, if you aren't holding the phone to your head, then that's not an issue. Obviously the real trick is to not be in a situation where you get struck in the first place. Also, the best advice to assure flashover would probably be to make sure that people exposed in a thunderstorm make sure to get soaking wet, something not even mentioned by the article.

This is one of the more bizzarre things I've seen doctors talk about. Really, if you're going to be out in an electrical storm, I would hope that at least someone would have a mobile phone on hand -- if someone DOES get struck, you're going to need to contact the EMS immediately!
 
Yeah. I posted to that effect in the "Man Killed by Lightning" thread today.

Statistical nonsense. I doubt there's any basis to conclude that the phone has anything whatever to do with getting struck or the seriousness of the injuries. And lighting traveling a mile or more through the air doesn't care if you're carrying a few little bits of metal or if you're soaking wet. Your internal resistance of a few thousand Ohms might as well be ground as far as it's concerned.
 
Quote "And lighting traveling a mile or more through the air doesn't care if you're carrying a few little bits of metal or if you're soaking wet. Your internal resistance of a few thousand Ohms might as well be ground as far as it's concerned."

Exactly, David :)

and to remember that most mobile phones these days are 75% or more plastic !! anyway

Dave N
 
Concur with the nonsense take on this. When someone is struck by lightning, electricity enters the paths of least resistance. In the case of someone being struck (whether or not they're on a cell phone), the electrical shock will enter the body orifices since these offer the least resistance and contain tissues that conduct more effectively than the skin. Numerous cadaveric studies show that lightning will penetrate the body through the eye sockets, the ears, the mouth, and the nose. So whether or not you have a cell phone, the shock will still penetrate the body.
 
What I sort of found funny was the fact that they never addressed the problem of BEING OUTSIDE IN A PARK DURING A THUNDERSTORM.

Maybe THAT had something to do with her being struck.
 
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