Fact Check: Do mobile phones send electric waves through the body when used while on charging?

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Quick Take

A social media video claims that it’s unsafe to use the phone while it’s charging because it allows electric waves to pass through the body. We fact-checked and found the claim to be Mostly False.

The Claim

A Facebook video shows a man holding a charging cable near to a device which seems to be a voltage stick. When he brought the device near the unplugged mobile phone, it remained silent. However, the device beeped when the man plugged the mobile phone into the charging cable. The device beeped again when touched to the skin, holding the mobile phone while plugged in. Unfortunately, the Google reverse image search did not help trace the man and it seems the video has been shared by another Facebook user.

The video has gathered 19k likes, 1k comments and 20k shares till we checked the last.

Fact Check

Do mobile phones send electric waves through the body while on charging?

Not exactly. No scientific evidence confirms that mobile phones are unsafe because they send electric waves through the body.

A voltage stick tells whether there is live voltage within the device. So, any cable plugged into the wall will show the same result. The phone charger has a rectifier which converts dangerous mains voltage into harmless low DC voltage. 

A (2021) research has shown that a current of 1 milliampere is enough to feel an electric shock. The smartphone batteries have around 4 volts of voltage. One milliampere is 1/1000th of one ampere. So, 0.001 milliampere is just too low to cause any effect on the human body.

It means the tiny amount of live voltage picked by the voltage stick is not enough to cause any damage to the human body. However, this may not be the case with cheap chargers.

In cheap chargers, the output voltage is not consistent and fluctuates to have a high-frequency leakage. This leakage can make the cheap charger catch fire while plugged into the wall.

A (2009) study states that ‘the body has resistance to current flow. More than 99% of the body’s resistance to electric current flow is at the skin’. It means only in rarest of cases the fully failed cheap charger can electrocute people.

Can electric current pass through the body?

Yes. Electrical injuries are common and can occur as a result of lightning, low-voltage, or high-voltage injury to cause high morbidity and mortality. 

A research states, ‘There are four main types of electrical injuries: flash, flame, lightning, and true. Flash injuries, caused by an arc flash, are typically associated with superficial burns, as no electrical current travels past the skin. Flame injuries occur when an arc flash ignites an individual’s clothing, and electrical current may or may not pass the skin in these cases. Lightning injuries, involving extremely short but very high voltage electrical energy, are associated with an electrical current flowing through the individual’s entire body. True electrical injuries involve an individual becoming part of an electrical circuit’.

The available published studies recommend people to not use cheap and damaged electrical devices or leave them unattended while plugged into the wall. 

THIP MEDIA TAKE: Mobile phones do send the electric current. However, the tiny amount is not enough to cause damage to the human body. Hence, the claim is Mostly False until proven otherwise.

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Disclaimer
Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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