iPod Math Day #2: Lightning + iPod = Death

Jun 24th, 2006 | By | Category: iPods & Portable Media Players, Strange

iPod nanoDoctors in the UK are warning that using an cell phone, iPod or other portable electronic device in a thunderstorm could lead to lethal lighting shocks.According to a letter in the British Medical Journal, the effects of electrocution are likely to be more severe as the metallic components of phones and portable music players act as a conductor, causing potentially lethal internal injuries.

Luckily, odds are that you’ll be dating a supermodel (88,000 to 1) before you’ll get hit by lightning (576,000 to 1).

When someone is struck by lightning, the high resistance of human skin usually results in lightning being conducted over the skin rather than through the body – a process known as flashover. According to the doctors, conductive materials in direct contact with skin, such as portable electronic devices, disrupt the flashover and result in internal injury with a greater risk of dying.A 15-year-old girl was struck by lightning while using her mobile phone in a large London park last year. Although resuscitated, she was still in a wheelchair a year later and found to be suffering complex physical, cognitive and emotional problems.

They said three other cases had been reported in newspapers in China, Korea, and Malaysia. “All these events resulted in death after the people were struck by lightning while using their mobile phones outdoors during storms,” they wrote.

They added: “This rare phenomenon is a public health issue, and education is necessary to highlight the risk of using mobile phones outdoors during stormy weather to prevent future fatal consequences from lightning strike injuries related to mobile phones.”

via Guardian + The Odds

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