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Amazing > Sunday, May-13-2007

Why you're not allowed to use your phone near gas stations

I've got to tell you, that I didn't believe in this myth. The energy from the mobile phone is so little that, you aren't able to get a spark. Things change if the energy is "stored" in the crumpled aluminum foil, and making lots of calls. The only realistic scenario I can come up with is that your car or some other piece of metal is already statically charged and your phone is the water drop that fills the glass. Anyway, it's very unlikely!

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Comments for Why you're not allowed to use your phone near gas stations


Now, I wonder would it have ignited eventually even without the phone.
posted by Guest at Monday, May-14-2007 15:17pm

RF Induction

Cell phones have very powerful RF transmitters.

The fire is a result of RF induction into the big ball of au foil. There is no spark, its from heating alone at the point nearest the cell.

You can hear RF induction yourself, just set your cell near a television thats on. When your cell transmits, say just before ir rings, the rf signal is so powerful it actually moves the speaker coil and you will hear little clicks through your TV.
posted by Guest at Friday, May-18-2007 02:20am


I repair "gas pumps" and I use my phone around them all the time. Maybe someday I will get bit but I don't think it's likely. By the way, the Dispensers have several RF suppressors in the electronics.
posted by Guest at Sunday, May-20-2007 12:59pm


Didnt Mythbusters try this and proved its a load of rubbish?
posted by Guest at Tuesday, May-29-2007 14:12pm

Time enough for evaporation

I'd like to see him try the same experiment but instead of calling that many times, just wait the same length of time and see if it FINALLY combusted because enough vapor had formed.

Petrol isn't going to combust from the amount of heat that could be generated in that ball of foil; it would simply become hot petrol. Seriously, you can boil a pot of petrol without it ever combusting. It's the vapor that combusts.

But that was still a fun experiment. I think I may perform some of my own tests.
posted by Guest at Saturday, June-30-2007 06:05am


posted by Guest at Friday, December-05-2008 01:49am


I should try it next time :wall: :clap:
posted by John Doe at Friday, December-05-2008 01:50am


dude gas pumps have nothing to do with it and myth busters proved the little cell phone and popcorn
we are dealing with the reaction of cell phone signals with petrol
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