Cell phone safetyTechnology can be a blessing but it can also be a curse, judging from the recent death of a young man in Cheongwon, North Chungcheong. Local police said the man possibly died when his cell phone battery exploded in his pocket.
With cell phones now ubiquitous in Korea, the tragic accident galvanized the whole nation, and mobile phone users were left stunned and fearful because such an accident could happen to anyone who uses the digital device.
Because the hand-held gadgets are closely connected with almost every Korean’s daily life, safety measures related to cell phone batteries should be implemented by the nation’s mobile phone makers as soon as possible.
For now, finding out the cause of the accident is the most urgent thing, even though the National Institute of Scientific Investigation is performing an autopsy of the victim.
Lame excuses of cell phone makers, such as “the batteries are sturdy enough to endure strong impact equivalent to hammering,” cannot relieve the public feeling of insecurity.
If the accident was the fault of the cell phone manufacturer, the company should admit its mistake and recall all similar models and replace them with new ones without safety hazards.
Look at the example set by Nokia. The world-famous cell phone maker once recalled 46 million of its mobile phones when the company found defects in their battery packs last August.
Along with the implementation of safety measures by cell phone makers, the government should come up with safety guidelines.
Cell phone batteries that are currently produced and sold in Korea do not have standards, so the batteries cannot be screened before they reach mobile phone users’ hands or pockets.
There should be some guidelines for phone users on how to use cell phones wisely and safely.
More than 40 million people carry cell phones in Korea today.
More than 200 million cell phones are sold in the local market.
In short, Koreans are the ones who made Korea one of the top wireless countries in the world. However, when such a popular digital device threatens lives, a different story emerges. We cannot risk lives or safety in exchange for digital glory.