5 Potential Dangers of Using Cell Phones in the Lab
Are cell phones a safety hazard in the lab?
The use of cellular phones is not permitted in some laboratories. With the evolution of cellular technology and all the new applications being introduced, it seems likely that cell phones will continue to play an important role in the way data is collected, communicated, and managed by scientists. But are cell phones considered to be a safety hazard in the lab?
Below are 5 potential dangers to consider:
1. At a gas station, we are cautioned not to use our cell phones while filling up. Whether or not a cell phone signal can ignite fumes seems to be under debate. Still, should workers exercise the same caution while using a cell phone around fumes, vapors, and chemicals in the lab?
2. A recent study has shown that cell phones can have up to 18 times more harmful bacteria than a toilet handle. Is it hazardous to bring phones with harmful bacteria into lab environments?
3. Cell phones have been shown to distract and endanger drivers. Can cell phones distract scientists during critical tasks as well?
4. Cell phones are known to interfere with electronics. Is it possible that cell phones can interfere with equipment being operated in the lab?
5. If researchers have to take gloves off repeatedly to use their cell phones, are they increasing the likelihood of having a lapse in concentration that would allow skin to come in contact with contaminants on the gloves?
These are just some ideas to consider, but we’d like your feedback. Do the potential dangers above pose real risks? Are there any other dangers involved with using a cell phone in the lab that haven’t been mentioned?