Taking A Selfie
The selfie has been around for a while but the camera phone has turned this into one of the biggest crazes in the last few years. But, be careful that your pursuit of the ultimate selfie doesn’t lead to your demise.
In March 2014 a Spanish man was killed after climbing onto the roof of an unused train which he believed was not electrified. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case and the man was thrown from the train when he accidentally touched the high voltage cable as he lifted his phone up to take a selfie. The man was declared dead upon the arrival of the emergency services.
Taking a selfie with a friend may also lead to your untimely death. This year two teenage female friends took a naked selfie together. Teen Anel Baez then shared the selfie online to the dismay of friend Erandy Gutierrez who reportedly then made several death threats via Twitter. Anel was later found stabbed 65 times and Erandy has been arrested for the murder.
Electrocution – Answering Your Phone While It Is Charging
There have been several cases reported in the media where people are believed to have died via electrocution from a mobile phone whilst it was connected to a mains charger.
In November 2013 a man died after he fell asleep on his charging mobile phone. He was discovered with burns to his chest and it was found that the phones charger was a third party knock-off.
In other 2013 electrocution death cases a women died after answering her charging Apple iPhone when she answered it after just getting out of the bath. Two further cases were reported where electrocution occurred as the phone charger was plugged into the socket.
In each case a third party mobile phone charger was used, so maybe it is worth paying extra for an original replacement!
Mobile Phone Masts
Putting aside the long running debate on whether radiation from mobile phone masts increase your risk of developing cancers, there are other dangers that may ruin your day.
In 2008 Dr Coghill, who sits on the UK’s Government advisory committee on radiation looked at the cases of 22 youngsters who committed suicide in South Wales. In just 18 months these deaths all occurred with the youngsters living closer to mobile phone masts than average. Worldwide studies also link depression with the proximity of living close to mobile phone towers.
In West Virginia February 2014 two workers died when they were working on a 300 ft mast which collapsed during maintenance. This tragic incident also took the life of a member of the Nutter Fort Fire Department after a second smaller mast collapsed minutes later.
While not causing immediate death it has been suggested that texting for long periods of time can lead to an early death.
Coupled along with mobile internet browsing, playing games and sending emails, these activities tend to lead to poor posture where the head is dropped and the shoulders are pulled forward. This forward leaning posture increases the risk of an early death in elderly people and it is feared that younger phone users could also be knocking years off their lives.
The United Chiropractic Association claims that a stooped posture is as big a health risk as obesity and suggest a link between poor posture and cardiovascular problems and pulmonary disease.
Increased Risk Of Death By Lightning
In 2006 a piece in the British Medical Journal caused a storm of media interest by suggesting that either making a phone call or simply having your mobile phone with you would increase the risk of getting struck by lightning.
The claim was hotly disputed and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Link 4) issued a statement reassuring the public that there was no extra danger associated to having your mobile phone with you during a storm. Still, it probably isn’t a good idea in a storm to make a phone call while near a lake and stood under a tree!
Owning One As A Woman
Owning a mobile phone as a woman in certain parts of the world could be your undoing.
On July 11th 2013 in the Punjab province of Pakistan a mother of two was stoned to death when it was uncovered that she owned a mobile phone. The Panchayat (tribal court) ruled death by stoning and ordered the victim’s uncle, cousins and other relatives to carry out the sentence.
Media reports suggest that stones and bricks were thrown until the woman died, who was then buried in the desert, far away from her village, where not even her children were allowed to attend the funeral.
If your mobile phone is the center of your life then it is probably no surprise that your pocket companion may distract you from what’s happening around you.
In August 2013 an Illinois man was found in quite a gruesome state in his apartment building in Chicago. A neighbor reported that the gentleman had asked for a key to the trash-compactor room as he thought he may have dropped his phone into the trash shoot. Police later found a ladder propped against the trash-compactor with his crushed body inside.
In a landmark case in 2012 a court finally ruled that there was a casual link between mobile phones and the risk of developing brain tumors.
The Telegraph reports that an Italian businessman fell ill after using his mobile phone for up to 6 hours a day for over 12 years. Experts argued that the small amount of electromagnetic radiation emitted during phone calls could make tumors more likely and the court agreed.
Whilst the National Cancer Institute advise that studies thus far have not shown a consistent link between cell phone use and cancers of the brain we should be thankful for the non-calling smartphone features we love so much like text messaging and social networking on sites like Facebook!
Trying To Save It
Many people today consider their mobile phone as one of their most prized possessions and would be devastated if they lost it, but just how far do your protective instincts go?
In January 2014 a 26 year old man jumped into the partially frozen Chicago river to attempt to save his dropped mobile phone. After jumping over a barrier the man fell through the frozen ice and tragically succumbed to the freezing waters along with a friend who tried to save him.
In March 2014 a 14 year old girl was struck and killed by a train when she went onto the track to recover her dropped phone. Two individuals were seen getting off the tracks by crew members on board the train, but one suddenly came back onto the track and was hit by the freight train.
Is your mobile phone a ticking time bomb?
In 2009 a Chinese man was killed when his mobile phone exploded, severing a main artery in his neck.
The exploding lithium battery was just one of nine other incidents in China of exploding mobile phones. Common causes include using non-original battery replacements and exposing phones to extreme heat or strong sunlight.
The explosive power of a mobile phone can be quite dramatic as demonstrated in the case of a 33 year old South Korean. When his phone exploded he was found with broken ribs and spine and both his heart and lungs were punctured in the explosion.