Theoretically cell phones can ignite petrol or any other similar fuel.How? Well, cellphones look like simple devices but in fact are very complex. They use radio waves and ionizing radiation to function. Cell phones communicate with towers using electromagnetic waves which are in the energy band of 1.24 mega-electron volts and 12.4 Peta electron volts, and that’s quite an energy value to simply ignore. Especially when dealing with volatile liquids like gasoline. In theory with so much energy in play, an electric spark can occur and ignite the fumes of fuel. But that’s the theory and till date, it has not happened.
So anyways its a good idea to keep your cell phone away while refuelling. Another possibility is, and a very real one is static discharge. Static charge built upon the human body can at times be as high as 60000 volts, and yes you can actually see a man spark and feel the jolt. Combine it with the energy values of cell phone and this could most probably be enough to ignite the fuel.
A study shows that a man is capable of charging himself up to 60000 volts in a span from where he leaves his car for refueling and comes back again. Another cause of alarm could be a faulty cell phone battery going off at the wrong time, however, chances of this actually happening is even lesser. As we can say the same about the car battery which in every case is mightier than a little cell phone battery.
Well, permutations and combinations to this debate can be many. However, to date, nobody has actually been able to prove that cell phones can ignite fuel and cause a big accident. Still its always better to be safe than sorry.
So here you have the answer folks: No, You cant blow up a gas pump with your cell phone.
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