This has to be the health advice to end all health advice: Don't use your mobile phone outside, in an open space during a thunderstorm. It is extremely unfortunate that one young woman suffered serious injuries after being struck by lightning whilst on her mobile phone. Injuries more serious than if she hadn't been on the phone, as the phone increases the amount of energy which enters into your body.
(a) There is still an only one in three million chance of someone in the UK being struck by lightning in the first place (Americans get struck more often - they're far more religious).
(b) Using a mobile phone does not effect your chance of being struck by lightning, only the damage it might cause if it does.
(c) Wearing any kind of jewellery or an underwired bra would increase injury in a similar way.
So let's recount some sensible advice about thunderstorms, if you happen to be stuck outside, don't go anywhere near trees, pylons, poles or bodies of water. Get to low open ground as soon as possible. If you are somehow stuck in a high exposed place, discard anything metal on your person (including your pockets). Crouch down with your head between your knees, but in such a way that your body is in contact with the ground as little as possible.
And when you are safely indoors, don't use the landline phone either. In fact, unplug any electronics from the landline - I have had a busted modem when lightning came down the line, it does happen.
However, for persons being struck it is still one in three million. There may be a slightly more worthy subject matter for the BBC News website's health pages.
That's interesting. Here in Denver we've had two people killed in as many weeks from lightning strikes. One while walking to his car and the other while riding his motorcycle. It's been quite bizarre, but Colorado doesn have the 3rd highest mortality rate in America from lightning strikes.
Here is a great article by one of my fellow Denver bloggers about lightning safety:
We should all be sitting quietly with our hands on the table, where they can see them...
As I was reading I thought you were about to say, and then put your head between your knees and kiss your ass goodbye! hehehe
Instead all very good solid advice :)
I wonder if the cellphone/lightning story will take off like the cellphone/gas pump myth. Here in the states we're not aloud to handle a cellphone anywhere near the pumps, although there's only a one in a trillion chance it could ignite the fuel.
By what percentage does being a wheelie in an under-wired bra up the stakes ?
Sally, your chance to survive as a wheelie is much better, when you take off your hat ;-)
Gimpy Mumpy, same here in Germany: strictly no mobiles at a filling station!
Goldfish, we used to live quite near to a little power station, which was rather accident prone and got hit by lightnings regulary. My hairdryer once was blown off (it melted away!), the coffee machine was a total write off, the TV-set kind of fainted away for several hours, but then came back to live and my printer gave up it's ghost. My insurace went bananas...
BloggingMone we live near telecommunications towers and it is true, they are hit in a spectacular fashion nearly every lightning storm!
Sally you've reinvigorated my crip conspiracy theory! :) I often worry about limping my way to cover with my metal walking stick and a spine full of metal rods and screws.
One hand on the walking stick, the other lobbing the V to whoever's in charge of the lightning, say I!
pfftmmfft! (trying desperately to clean off the computer because the soda I was drinkin' came dangerously close to adorning my screen...) Laughing my head off.
Now I will *never* have to explain again why I don't ride my eclectric scooter in the rain.
The local/jock/daredevil/paralympic crips seem to do that all the time, but me I prefer myself room temperature, not fried thankyouverymuch.
thanks for the link Howard
mobile phones can now detect lightning
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