Burgess, A. (2007) Real and phantom risks at the petrol station: The curious case of mobile phones, fires and body static. Health Risk & Society, 9 (1). pp. 53-66. ISSN 1369-8575 .
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This case study examines the alleged hazard associated with mobile phone use at petrol stations and suggests that it is a phantom risk. Understanding its persistence in the absence of evidence, a number of factors are outlined. A precautionary safety regime enforced by oil companies in the UK established a restriction on mobile use on station forecourts that had the effect of confirming a danger. Warning signs in mobile phone handbooks had a similar effect and led to further restrictions at petrol stations. Among a number of problematic consequences, most ironic has been to distract from the real cause of the increased number of petrol stations fires at, particularly, American petrol stations. Investigations have identified the real cause, body static generated through vehicle re-entry while refuelling. This episode suggests the need for clarity about the precise reasons behind any restrictions on the use of a popular device that is already established as a potential, but invariably unconfirmed, health hazard.
|Uncontrolled keywords:||rumour; mobile phone; petrol station; fire; static|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
|Divisions:||Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Sociology|
|Depositing User:||Suzanne Duffy|
|Date Deposited:||31 Mar 2008 13:19|
|Last Modified:||14 Jan 2010 14:07|
|Resource URI:||http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/2515 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)|
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