There is little danger that wireless interference from mobile phones can cause petrol pumps to explode, researchers said on Wednesday.
Mobile phone experts at the University of Oklahoma's Center for the Study of Wireless Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) said that there have been no confirmed incidents linking mobile phones with petrol station fires.
"Our study was initiated in 1999 to examine reports that cell phones posed a hazard near gas pumps, to define and investigate the extent of the problem, and make recommendations as to what actions, if any, should be taken," said Glenn Kuriger, associate director of the EMC Center.
"Our research, as well as the consensus of other studies, concluded that the risk is negligible, with virtually no evidence to even suggest a safety hazard."
Dr Hank Grant, a director at the EMC Center, dismissed reports that mobile phones had blown up a number of petrol stations.
"I guess you can file them under the Urban Legend category," he said. "The reported incidents are either hoaxes or have been incorrectly attributed to cell phones. There simply has never been a confirmed incident."
"The electromagnetic emissions from a cell phone are just not strong enough to ignite gas vapours. Based on historical evidence and expert opinion, we believe the risk of cell phones as a source of ignition is negligible," he said.
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