Static electricity, not mobile phone usage, causes sparks and starts a fire


Wrong, say experts. It’s just an urban legend, circulated via e-mail as early as the late 1990s, claiming that the microwaves emitted from mobile phones could generate a spark that could ignite petrol fumes.

While in theory, microwaves can generate sparks when it comes into contact with metal, the waves emitted from phones are far too weak to create an explosion, says Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) electrical engineering professor Dr Chandima Gomes, who specialises in lightning protection.

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