Falling asleep cuddling with a mobile device has become a common habit for many who cringe at the thought of losing or being separated from their smartphones. A teen in the UK claims his iPhone 5 left him with a gigantic blister-turned-hole on his forearm after he fell asleep on it after returning from his factory job. Eighteen-year-old Jake Parker is now “scarred for life” after suffering what could be a “radiation burn” that left him with a 2-inch hole.
Parker claims he knew the iPhone 5 caused the injury because it was still “really hot,” he told The Sun. "I was just texting, looking at Facebook — normal stuff.” "Now, every time I move my arm it's like ripping open. At one point I could see the muscle moving."
The teen, who is also a rugby player, was prescribed antibiotics after the wound became infected, but he shortly went to the hospital after the sore turned black, leaving him in severe pain. Parker’s blister then burst and left the wounded site with a gaping hole all the way down to his muscle. According to the Daily Mail, doctors who treated the teen told him they had “never seen anything” like it, and suggested Parker revisit for a check-up because it “could be a radiation burn.”
Given previous iPhone burn stories, Apple users took to the Apple Support Communities forum to speculate whether the device can actually cause skin burns. User ColonelCool asked: “I have [a] strange sensation when I hold my iPhone 3G too long and I even have strange orange traces on the hand were my skin touch the iPhone as if the phone burned my skin ... is it normal?”
While answers remain weary, in 2009, an iPhone 3G user, Alan Ziegler, told The Telegraph: "I was on a call for 20 minutes and it was so uncomfortably hot I had to put it on speaker.” To determine whether the iPhone, specifically the 3G can actually get really hot, CNET.com conducted some tests with a temperature-sensing multimeter to see if they could cause it to melt, measure it, and see if it could burn a user’s face. The highest the phone would rise in the tests was 91.9 degrees, which was achieved after a 50-minute 3G phone call while simultaneously streaming 50 minutes of high-quality video over Wi-Fi from the BBC iPlayer. They reported no overheating, no melted casing, and no scorched faces.
Despite the lack of evidence from CNET.com’s trial, Parker’s case is not unique to the rest of the teens and adults who sleep with their phones on their bed. Last month, a 13-year-old girl in Texas, woke up to her bed in flames after she left her Samsung Galaxy S4 under her pillow while asleep. Currently, Samsung advises users in their guide that covering devices with bedding or other materials could potentially cause a fire.
While these cases are rare but do occur, excessive smartphone use could have negative effects on users’ health. As the iPhone continues to be the most popular smartphone in the U.S., it’s important to keep in mind how mobile devices are affecting your health. Be iPhone smart, and take into account these health risks when using your phone:
1) Unhealthy levels of radiation
While it’s still not clear whether using cell phones can actually lead to cancer, the World Health Organization views radiation emitted by smartphones as a possible carcinogen to humans.
2) Poor Sleep Quality
A 2013 HuffPost/YouGov survey found 63 percent of smartphone users age 18 to 29 drift off to sleep with a cell phone, smartphone, or tablet in their bed. Leaving electronic devices nearby the bed can hinder sleep for teens and adults alike leading to sleep deprivation, and even increasing their vulnerability to the effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields.
A whopping 66 percent of people are actually afraid to lose or be separated from their smartphones, according to a SecurEnvoy survey, the global leader of Tokenless® two-factor authentication.