• Actually, yes! Although certain conditions would have to be met, it is still a possibility. "...In spite of the routine use of gasoline, many people are unaware of or unappreciative of the dangers of gasoline. Gasoline is dangerous because it is highly volatile. The fumes are capable of ignition up to 12 feet away from a pooled source. It can float on water and may spread long distances, making ignition and flash back possible. Gasoline may ignite from a nearby spark, flame, or even static electricity and become a "fireball" with a temperature of 15,000 degrees F. " * For this same reason, you shouldn't fill gas cans in the back of a pickup truck which has a plastic/nylon type bed liner as a static charge can be generated. Again, chances are it won't happen but why take the chance? Believe me, skin grafts are no fun. Hope this answered your question. * taken from *EDIT* Okay, i've been taking alot of flak about this reply. I prefaced my original post with- "Although certain conditions would have to be met, it is still a possibility." First, regarding the "certain conditions would have to be met" they would include the nozzle of the gaspump not being outfitted with a vapor recovery nozzle. While these nozzles are used to prevent vapors form possibly harming the environment, especially with gas where MTBE is added, it also significantly reduces the risk of a siginificant quantity of vapors from escaping and causing an explosion. Also, it would be more likely with the older style cell phone, although even the newer ones are not sealed units. It would be more likely to cause a spark be attaching or detaching the battery, where a sufficient spark could be generated, than by using the phone itself. Other factors that come into play would be wind activity (while the vapor density of gas is heavier than air, causing the vapors to accumulate at ground level or seek the lowest point, a sudden updraft could and would cause it/them to rise. Barometric pressure might also come into play. Someone suggested that a car starter might generate a spark as well, however on most models i've seen and changed, the starter is sealed, the only portion exposed would be internal, where the gear contacts the flywheel. (i could be mistaken here, as i'm only a shadetree mechanic, but the starters i've changed have been that way) More likely would be the low lying vapors coming into contact with a hot catalytic converter which do get very hot, especially when partially clogged. Nylon bedliners will generate a static charge as well. Getting in and out of the car might also generate a spark depending on what the vehicle interior is made up of and what type of clothing the person is wearing. I ended my reply with "Again, chances are it won't happen but why take the chance?" I also have firsthand knowledge of what it's like to get a skin graft and it's no picnic. What's to argue with? Also, you might want to check this link out- For those who still doubt it, I might suggest this experiment. Get a childs wading pool, sit in it and pour a gallon of gas into the pool with you. Then, take a cell phone and turn it on and off and if you'd like, connect and disconnect the battery several times. Let me know what happens. ;)
  • There is a small chance of the components of a moblie phone causing petrol ignition, but there have also been a few cases of radio transmissions (CB radio's in vehicles for example) upsetting the electronics in petrol pumps so that the cost of the fuel taken can be affected above or below. Some of the older mobile phones could in theory affect in the same way. Although most petrol companies would not say this though as not only of the ignition risk, but of user curiosity about trying to affect the pumps delivery as well. I would say though that the static discharge from yourself to the car that sometimes occurs (when you climb out of the vehicle and reach back to shui the door) is far more of a risk than a mobile phone.
  • No...Simple as that. It is a commonly held belief, particularly by the media and hence probably by most people. However when I say no, almost any electrical device holds the potential to ignite petrol vapour. For example an electrical spark say between the mobile phone battery and the phone itself has the potential to ignite petrol vapour, just as any spark has. When you start your car many sparks are generated inside the starter motor. No one worries about this when starting your car after filling up at a petrol station. The reason is the risk is very low...It either has never happened or very rairly happened. The RF energy transmitted by a mobile phone is very low, about 1/4 of a Watt. This amount of RF energy can not heat up petrol or petrol vapour at all. Also this low level RF energy can not generate a spark, it is just too small amount of energy. If you disagree with me then explain the mechanism of how such a low level of RF energy from a mobile phone can ignite petrol? If it can then what about 2 way radios such as used in Taxis, that have RF power levels some 100 times (25 Watts) that of a mobile phone and can and do operate at petrol stations.
  • If you own a cell phone, chances are it's in your owner's guide or give this a read,
  • As proven on Discovery channel by The Myth Busters, it is not possible to ignite fuel with a cellular phone.
  • The Petroleum Equipment Institute ( has a large number of resource documents available that cover a wide range of petroleum safety topics. They cover the cell phone issue; check the documents at the bottom of the page. A much greater hazard to those of us that suffer winters in low humidity areas is static ignition of gasoline vapors. View the video - it is an eye opener!
  • Excellent answer. but i think it's been proven that a cell phone can't cause an explosion under normal conditions. im not says that it's not impossible. but highly unlikly under normal conditions. usually want might cause a fire at a gas pump is a static shock. for example have you ever gotten out of your car and got a shock when you touched the metal on the door. thats the same idea behind what might cause a fire at a gas pump.
  • I'm not usually sympathetic to using TV as a reference source, but Myth Busters did a pretty thorough job on this. In the course of debunking it, they created what should have been a highly flammable, enclosed atmosphere, seriously degraded the interior wiring of a cell phone to make it as dangerous as possible, analyzed when maximum signal strength occurred, etc., etc., and still got absolutely nothing. This is a classic case of people insisting on pseudo-debating an urban legend. "Hey, it COULD happen! Maybe! If conditions were right! [I.e., if it happened.] Can you prove it COULDN'T happen? Well then!" Well then indeed -- since you can't prove any negative, let's discuss whether a Klingon could make your cell phone explode and pretend it was because you were at a gas station. Hey, it could happen. Can you prove it couldn't happen?
  • Search Urban Legends and Folklore The New 'Boom' in Cell Phones Last updated: 07/11/99 By David Emery The news about cellular phones and public health just keeps on getting worse. Wired News reported the other day that cell phone emissions may cause genetic damage in humans and animals — the results of an industry-funded study. Those same emissions have been blamed by consumer groups for tumors, weakening of the immune system, increased blood pressure and memory loss. No one quite knows what to make of a British study showing that people who are exposed to cell phone frequencies react to sensory stimuli faster than people who aren't. Is that good or bad? Wired News also reports that cell phone emissions have been shown to cause nematode worm larvae to mature five percent faster than normal in laboratory experiments. That can't good, can it? Not to be outdone by the press, Internet rumormongers are having a field day trumpeting cell phone warnings of a more incendiary kind. Email messages circulating since April 1999 warn that drivers who don't turn off their mobile phones while fueling their cars risk being blown to pieces in a gas vapor explosion. Have a look at this: Warning: Cell phone use in gas stations Cell Phones..... In case you do not know, there was an incident where a driver suffered burns and his car severely damaged when gasoline fumes ignited an explosion while he was talking on his mobile phone standing near the attendant who was pumping the gas. All the electronic devices in gas stations are protected with explosive containment devices, (intrinsically safe) while cell phones are not. READ YOUR HANDBOOK! Mobile phone makers Motorola, Ericsson, and Nokia, all print cautions in their user handbooks that warn against mobile phones in "gas stations, fuel storage sites, and chemical factories." Exxon has begun placing "warning stickers" at its gasoline stations. The threat mobile phones pose to gas stations and their users is primarily the result of their ability to produce sparks that can be generated by the high-powered battery inside the phone. Please pass this on. Manufacturers have said there is a risk It's always tempting to dismiss "pass it on" rumors as bunk, but the fact is that mobile phone manufacturers have warned consumers in the past against using the devices near gas pumps. This is an excerpt from a Motorola brochure for the Satellite Series 9500 Portable Telephone: [T]his telephone has not been designed or approved for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. Areas with a potentially explosive atmosphere are often, not always, clearly marked. Potentially explosive atmospheres include: Fueling areas such as gasoline stations Below deck on boats Fuel or chemical transfer or storage facilities Vehicles using liquefied petroleum gas such as propane Areas where the air contains chemicals or particles such as grain dust or metal powders and Any other area where you would normally be advised to turn off your engine. Sparks in such area would cause an explosion or fire resulting in bodily injury or even death. No laughing matter, apparently, nor should we suppose Motorola is trying to pull our legs. Similar cautions have been issued by other manufacturers, though industry spokesmen have more recently begun downplaying them, saying the actual risk is very slim, especially with newer and better-constructed models. Still, in accordance with the maxim "'Tis better to be safe than sorry," signs forbidding the use of cell phones near gas pumps are becoming increasingly common in various parts of the world. Shell International explains its new policy in Asian countries thus: "Although driving whilst using a cellular phone is perfectly safe, we do not allow them to be used on the forecourt [of a service station] in case an electronic fault in the phone causes a spark." The prohibition is not in effect at Shell stations in the United States... yet. In June 1999, Exxon began mailing out information and decals to its 8,500 service stations in the U.S. explicitly warning against the use of cell phones near gasoline pumps. According to a CNN report dated June 24, the company regards the risk of explosion as "extremely unlikely" but has chosen to err on the side of safety. Other companies will likely follow. Incident reports are sketchy Have incidents such as the one described in the email actually occurred? We don't know. Reports are conflicting and details are hard to come by, let alone confirm. A May 17, 1999 article in the Bangkok Post made reference to "a driver in Indonesia who was severely burned and his car wrecked when it exploded at a petrol station" as he refueled while talking on his cell phone, as well as an explosion in Adelaide, Australia some years back that was "likely caused by a mobile phone." The trouble with both reports is that their primary source appears to have been the Internet. The Adelaide story was picked up from a Website message board. The Indonesian story is almost identical to the content of an anonymous email alert known to have been circulating at least a month before the Bangkok Post article appeared. Both the email and the article cited the China Post as their source of information. That's as much as we know. A January 14, 1999 article in Fox Market Wire contradicted these reports, stating unequivocally that "There has never been a report of fire sparked at a gas station because of a cell phone." It also stated — apparently erroneously — that the incident in Australia was actually caused by a lit cigarette. [See update below.] Whether or not the rumors are true, cell phone users are probably best advised to take the manufacturers' and oil companies' warnings to heart. The risk may indeed be entirely theoretical, but you've nothing to lose by playing it safe and turning off the phone while gassing up. You might even save a few brain cells. Update on the Australian incident Richard Arrowsmith, our contact in Adelaide, queried the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service as to the cause of the 1993 petrol station explosion allegedly caused by a mobile phone. He received a prompt reply from Hazardous Substances Officer Gavin Dougherty, who stated that "at no time were mobile telephones suspected to be the cause of the fire." This was confirmed by Darryl Horsel, the district officer who supervised the fire investigation. According to Horsel's report, the explosion occurred after a tanker finished pumping fuel into an underground diesel tank. The direct cause, he determined, was static electricity igniting a flammable mixture of fuel vapors and air which had accumulated in the emptied tanker compartment. [Source: The Investigation of the AMPOL Road Pantry Service Station Fire, 325 Brighton Rd, Brighton North, August 28, 1993, by Darryl Horsel, District Officer.] Was a telephone connected in any way with this explosion? Not causally, but according to Gavin Dougherty the tanker driver testified to using the public telephone in the customer reception area of the station before pumping the fuel. He went out to start the fueling then returned to the reception area to kill time. That's when the explosion occurred. It's possible, Dougherty theorizes, that newspaper reports citing the driver's good fortune at being inside the station when the tanker blew up may have led to a false association in the public's mind between his use of the telephone and the explosion. It's a theory folklorists would approve. News sources & updates: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - 10/21/99 - 'Cell phones spark debate at gas pumps' CNN - 06/24/99 - 'Exxon warns dealers of cell phone risks' Wired News - 06/21/99 - 'Cell Study: Hazards Are Real' Bangkok Post - 05/17/99 - 'Mobile phone boom' Fox Market Wire - 01/14/99 - 'Cell phones to be banned at gas stations in Finland' Taken from:
  • Anything with a battery pack that can be removed has a very small chance of generating a spark if jolted and momentarily loses contact and reconnects. A spark does not mean a explosion every-time.
  • No,it can't.
  • no. absolutely not. mythbusters disproved it on dicovery channel just last week. i never trusted mythbusters' poor scientific approach to arrive at a yes or no answer, however this one is obvious.
  • have you heard of any gas stations blowing up lately.come on man.
  • mythbusters..they show it all
  • verified it as well as being false.
  • I say no

Copyright 2018, Wired Ivy, LLC

Answerbag | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy