Mobile Phone May Cause Hearing Damage

from the forget-cancer... dept

There are lots of theories about ways in which mobile phones can cause you harm. Most of these are denied by the handset makers themselves. However, Siemens is now admitting a potentially dangerous bug in some of their phones. It turns out that if you're talking on it as the battery runs out, they're so afraid you might not realize what's happening that it plays the "disconnect" tone at a decibel level that could cause hearing damage. There's no word on whether or not anyone has actually been hit with hearing damage, and the wording is vague enough that this might not be a big problem. They say "prolonged exposure" to the sound causes hearing damage -- but it seems unlikely that anyone would be exposed to the noise for very long. Either way, the company is working on fixing the bug and getting it out to users as quickly as possible.

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  1. identicon
    Rick Colosimo, 26 Aug 2004 @ 12:25pm

    Well-known product liability case

    A classic case used to illustrate liability for design defects is Watson v. Uniden. In the early days of cordless phones, Uniden made one with a ringer so loud that if you held it near your ear before clicking the phone on, the ringer caused deafness. So, the problem has been seen before at a more extreme end, and the engineers should at least be aware of this type of problem.

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