Science Questions

Could nylon create sparks?

Sun, 24th Jun 2007

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Andy Munro, Australia asked:

Should there be a sign at fuel stations about soccer (football) shirts causing sparks? I seen the sparks from the shirt but never seen sparks caused by a moblie phone etc. We have signs about phones etc. at the fuel station. Is there more potential to start a fire from a shirt then a phone?


Its true that nylon football shirts will cause a spark, as will nylon underwear!  
The theory with mobile phones is that they emitt microwaves, which can interact with metal to induce a current and then possibly create a spark.  Were not sure this has ever been demonstrated with mobile phones, but weve all seen sparks from nylon clothes.

As to the likelyhood of a phone causing a fire compared to a nylon shirt causing a fire, we dont know!

So maybe we should ban nylon clothes at petrol stations!


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