Episode 2: Cell Phone Destruction, Silicone Breasts, CD-ROM Shattering

Air Date: October 3, 2003

Using one’s cell phone while pumping gas/petrol can cause an explosion.

busted

A properly-working cell phone poses almost no danger of igniting gasoline, even when surrounded by gasoline vapor with the optimum fuel-air mix for ignition. The actual risk comes from an electrostatic discharge between a charged driver and the car, often a result of continually getting into and out of the vehicle.

(This myth was revisited in episode 14 and it was busted again.)

Silicone breast implants may explode at high altitudes or low air pressure.

busted

The implants are extremely flexible.

(A spin-off of this myth involving an inflatable brassiere was tested in episode 14 with the same result.)

CDs can shatter if placed in a high-speed (i.e. 40X or faster) CD-ROM drive.

partly busted

It was proven that a high rotation (in excess of 8,000 RPMs) could shatter the CDs, but the MythBusters could not achieve this using an average CD-ROM drive. Existing physical damage to the CD made shattering more likely.

108 Comments

  1. Andrew C. says:

    Have had a disk “explode” in a drive once, making a loud thwack sound… Drive is not suspected to be at fault for the destruction due to several disks before it surviving… Substandard (cheap, poorly made) disks do have a reputation for coming apart in high speed drives.

  2. Anders says:

    It’s not true that cell phones cannot iniate fire. Shell has reported three cases, and cell phones are forbidden on gas stations world over. They start to burn.

    • Doug Scott says:

      Anders, you are very much mistaken and unfortunately one of the many people fooled by the internet furfy. Please read the media release from Shell, when the story went viral on the internet. They, Shell, traced the story back to an employee who did not check the hoax message out when he received it from a friend.

      • Jeffrey S Austin says:

        Given the right conditions, ANY electronic device can cause an explosion or fire. That’s why we have electronic devices that are labeled intrinsically safe. I am a firefighter and have investigated a few fires that remain suspicious to this day but mobile phone was found at the scene and they were burned.

        The flash point of gasoline is -45°F and has an autoignition temperature of 475–536 °F. Once again, there are several factors that can lead to an explosion. Weather is probably the biggest factor, calm wind, very low humidity are the two biggest. In other words, static electricity.

        The biggest reason not to be talking on a mobile phone? Paying attention of the job at hand, filling your tank with petrol.

        • Joni says:

          Last Friday a Chevron attendant told me “Cell phones must be off because it can spark and start a fire, you need to hang up your cell phone”. I was sitting in my vehicle, door shut, window part way down, talking on my cell phone. He was pumping my gas.
          I think the fuel companies need to instruct their employees about WHERE the spark initiates …static electricity. And if the customer is not out of the vehicle, moving about, pumping the gas…it should be safe to use the cell phone inside the vehicle.
          Enough is enough.

    • Richard says:

      That test is pathetic because its called a flash fire nothing explodes and its caused by static electricity and most cars dont hav a anti-static strap on them. hence the warning for cellphones ur not even suppose to touch ur car while filling it. I worked at a servo and hav seen a flash fire. So the myth itself is wrong and they should note on this test why cellphones should neva be used around petrol

  3. Mirzero says:

    The fact that cell phones are banned in fueling stations around the world does not indicate that they start fires. You need a spark to ignite vapors, and cellphones should not normally create sparks in any way. Heat will also ignite vapors, but the autoignition temperature of gasoline is around 250 degrees celsius… If your phone got that hot it would melt, and quite possibly burn you.

  4. Storm says:

    A friend of mine told me of how his CD violently “exploded”. His mom had been present at the time and confirmed it to me. Normally I’m a sceptic, but I choose to believe these people over the results of the Busters on this.

    • MSpears says:

      The CD was probably already damaged before it exploded (and the Busters did prove that the chance of shattering was much higher if the CD was already damaged).

      Damage does not have to be visible to result in shattering; case in point, the stress fractures that caused part of the cabin roof to blow out in Southwest Airlines Flight 812 or Aloha Air Flight 243, which lost nearly a third of its roof.

  5. Joe says:

    Concerning cell phones at gas stations, from the MythBusters website, there have been a few fires that were initially reported as being caused by cell phones, but further investigation always turns up another cause. All gas stations and most cell phone manuals have warnings to turn off the phone at the gas station, but this is mainly for liability, so you can’t even claim that a fire was started by the cell phone and sue them on that grounds.

    Concerning CD-ROM drives, I heard (so take with a grain of salt) that the reason CD-ROM drive speeds stop at 52x is because the manufacturers agreed to self-impose that speed limit because a higher speed carries an increased risk of damage to the CD and drive. Theoretically, a cheaply made or already damaged disk could break at 40x.

  6. jamoecw says:

    i use my cell phone at gas stations all the time, and i see other people using them as well…

    • Jeffrey S Austin says:

      You are an individual living on the edge. Which petrol station do you use? I don’t want to be there.

  7. joe marr says:

    i have recently started a job hauling fuel and the topic of the cell phone came up at our safty training and the instructer said that it is possible under the right mix of air and vapour, if you have to little vapour then obviously its to thin and if you have to much it will not ignite . there is only 7% range between the two , i also have a short video of a girl starting a fire at a gas station because of her sweater.

  8. Jeff says:

    With cell phones and fires. its not the cell phone itself thats going to heat up or make a spark. with any electronic devise, there is a radio wave of some sort, and the frequency of this can screw around with other electronics. if you get the right cell phone, and the right gas station, boom! its just very, very, very unlikely to happen.

  9. Richard Speiss says:

    We had a CD shatter in a CD player at my office. We put the CD in the drive to install Windows. We fired up the computer and heard a loud bang. When we opened up the drive the CD was literally shattered like a mirror. The CD Drive also died in the process.

    We suspect that the CD might have had a small fracture or something that would cause it to “catch” on the read head but didn’t notice it when we put it in

  10. Graham says:

    in the myth of the cell phone at the gas station what about the small static shock you get as you climb out your car, is that enough to cause the explosion

    • Jeffrey S Austin says:

      That is one of the leading causes of explosions and fires at petrol stations.

  11. Ali says:

    I dunno about cell phones causing fires, but in some countries oil tanker drivers on the road hang steel chains from their front & rear bumpers, according to them its supposed to disperse any static charge built up due to the moving parts into the ground so that it doesnt blow up the whole thing! wonder if its true

  12. Vasu says:

    I had a CD that exploded in the drive while i was installing an OS on my PC. The CD got shattered into pieces. I do feel the CD was of low quality and could not stand the heat generated by continuous access.

  13. Mark says:

    I’ve personally witnessed the bursting cd-rom event twice. This ocurred on my fathers PC 3 times total in 3 different drives. None of the drives survived the events. In one instance the entire cd tray was ejected across the room. I’ve noticed micro cracks at the center of some discs that develop from repeatedly flexing the disc from inserting and removing it from its case. These cracks develop since some are made from a more brittle type of plastic than other discs. I also suspect a malfunctioning drive controller since just before the disc shattered the drive sounded like it was running at 10000 RPM or more. After the 3rd drive was destroyed we replaced the mother board and have had no further incidents.

  14. Sukhoi says:

    MYTHBUSTERS RULLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • :) says:

      yep

  15. Pagan Witch says:

    I just had a cd explode in my cd rom. IT DOES HAPPEN.
    Scared my daughter who was playing a game……
    There was a loud scraping noise, turned the computer off, when I turned it back on, & opened the cd rom drawer, there were about 100 pieces of the cd…..
    Great.

  16. It Happens says:

    My Quicken 2005 disk shattered explosively in my disc drive on my desktop. However, I must note that it had been left in the drive (possibly spinning?) overnight and it shattered shortly after I took it out, realized I needed it, and put it back it. It was a little bit warm. Quite the pop! There was no way to get all of the pieces out of the drive, and we ended up having to replace the whole thing.

  17. Vikrant says:

    About the exploding CD. Me and my friend had a situation wherein the CD was broken to smallpieces inside the drive while it was rotating. However when we did take out the pieces we noticed that the hub of the CD had a small crack. It was this crack that caused the CD to rotate irregularly and eventually “explode”.

  18. Blockbuster DVD says:

    I Rented a DVD from blockbuster; Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, and put it in my new DVD-rom. Before I put it in I noticed that it was quite scratched and such, but it worked. I was about an hour in to the movie, then the DVD-rom was making quite a noise. Ejected DVD, put it back in, and played normally for 5 minutes more. Then it shattered with a loud pop. Couldn’t even open the DVD-rom anymore. Blockbuster were nice enough to not force me to pay for the DVD. I was still shattered.

  19. Brandon says:

    Hey Anders! Your first sentence contains a double negative and therefore does not make sense.

    • Graham says:

      Brandon his sentence does make sense, the two negatives are not next to each other therefore do not negate each other, hence it does make sense.

  20. RB says:

    Cell phones can be dangerous where flammable vapors or gasses are present:

    http://www.mms.gov/safetyalerts/5.htm

  21. HARRY says:

    I work in the petroleum industry and while static is the biggest danger in causing fires, ANY BATTERY OPERATED item is a danger due to the spark created when a battery is disconnected.
    It’s not just cell phones that are banned for this very reason.
    Do you want to be the one that proves Mythbusters wrong?

  22. Tim says:

    1) I always thought the cell phone thing was that it screwed up the electronics and therefore the billing/accounting!
    2) Hey Brandon! Two “not”s in a sentence don’t always make a double negative. In Anders first sentence, they DON’T cancel each other out, so it isn’t a double negative!

  23. HARRY says:

    As an amusing aside to cell phone story, while working at service stations I see people use the “MYTHBUSTER” defence when caught using their cell phone even though they are standing next to signs showing clearly that it is illegal. Unbelievable!

  24. z2 says:

    Cellphones. I think the myth is pretty well busted – there’s no spark and not enough heat. A sweater is far, far more dangerous! Or any electical device with a hard power switch (like the car radio, or a cheap transistor radio – the kind of switch which disconnects power by physically separating two pieces of metal which could spark). Cell phones have soft power switches – you really just send a data signal to the processor, which turns off power with a solid state switch (no spark).

    Cell phones being banned at gas stations is basically hysteria and liability, as somebody else stated. Some fires were misdiagnosed, and the rest is urban legend territory (ie: it sounds vaguely plausible so it was believed, without testing). If somebody on a jury might BELIEVE a fire had been caused by a cellphone, then everybody with deep pockets will have a warning that cell phones should be turned off.

    Banning sweaters at gas pumps would make at least 1000 times more sense logically. But there isn’t the same fear factor – ooo, there are mysterious invisible radio waves involved, who knows what they might do? Believe it or not, legislation is not always based on sound science, especially when it costs nothing to implement (ie: the state banning cell phones at gas station doesn’t take on any financial burden to induce them to rethink and study the problem first; all the (minor) costs are born by stations).

  25. Lonny Anthony Wedell says:

    The cell phone myth is busted yet argument over the whole senaro is that Mythbusters is a TV show and in a TV show any thing can happen. Thust the whole myth experment is a staged prank. I my self find this hard to believe that it was a stunt. As why would the Discovery Channel set them selfs up for a fake experiment? I have used my cell phones at the gas station. Not once have I caught fire. I have done this is about three countries Greece, Italy and the United States in various states. Not one time did my self, my car or the gas pump catch fire. I think someone needs to call David Nedorostek and tell him the check his facts before making myths law.

  26. Alain says:

    Yeah, heard that one often. But it happend to me the other day. It was an old CD. It only thing I could say is that it died in my cd player lol. All busted up. It’s just simply a fact of science, when the plastic gets old it tends to crack! Duh! Geeze Mythbuster guys, I though you could do better.!

  27. Isabelle says:

    About the cell phone at gas station. I work in a Shell gas station in Quebec city. In Quebec talking to cell phone is noit illégal but it’s not recommended. Not because the risk of explosion, but because it can cause distraction. I saw many person who spills gas on the ground because they was to distracted by their conversation. (scuse my bad english, I’m not verry god :o))

  28. BrandonB says:

    I can confirm the statement above. I too, work at a gas station. It is the potential distraction moral that put the ban to cell phone use while pumping gas. It is a dumb restriction, really. It does not take cell phone use to cause distraction. You could be talking to a buddy who is also pumping gas, and this could potentially result in the same outcome.

  29. Scott says:

    I have to ask. Do you really think that because you work at a gas station you can explain why talking on a cell phone is a dumb restriction? I teach science and watch the discovery channel and watch a ton of CSI. Television shows are just that, mostly made for your entertainment. There are so many facts on the DSC that are twisted a little bit to make for better drama. Don’t for a second belive that everything you see or hear on those channels is true. Ever heard of Occam’s Razor? In the instance of cell phones igniting gasoline need to realize erring on the side of caution is probably a better idea than being angry at being told not to use you cute little electronic device (that everyone now owns) at that particular time. Hang up and call them back after you pump gas.

    I truly believe that there are a particular set of circumstances that need to be met before this will happen. Yes, there are times that I want to talk while I’m at the pump, but I wait to make the call until after I’m done. Maybe we all should. Never hurts to err on the safe side.

    • Aaron says:

      I thought Occam’s razor said the the simplest answer is probably the correct one. Cell phones are not the simplest answer . Static electricity is probably the culprit.

  30. shawn2196 says:

    I would like to comment on the cd shattering in the cd rom drive. First of all I am kind of a computer nut, and thought this was a myth. I mean, I use my CD ROM dirve about 6 hours a day for games and music CDs. Then just today my 2 year old daughter wanted to play her jump start preschool game. I took it out of the case by the way this was a newer game she has only been playing it for about two weeks. put it in the drive, started the game. then i heard a high speed humming noise then boom the cd blow up in to about a 100 pieces. I got the drive all cleened out and good as new but as for cds blowing up is not a myth.

  31. Kathleen says:

    I didn’t think to take pics, but Shawn, we had the same experience this morning. Our four year old wanted to play Putt Putt Goes to the Zoo, and made a terrific whining sound. We were unable to eject the drive (thank goodness it didn’t fly open) until we took it out of the tower. When it was finally pried open, there were thousands of sparkling pieces. My older daughter remembered seeing something about this on Mythbusters, so I googled and found this page. Our drive, upon being replaced in the tower, is working normally again, so I assume it was the condition of the old and worn Putt Putt disk.

  32. Faruk says:

    I had a CD shatter in a CD drive at my home. Scared the bajeezus out of me and my wife while were watching some kind of video. In the middle of the movie the CD was literally shattered like a mirror. Some pieces of the CD were ejected across the room.
    However, I must note that drive, after pulling out every piece of CD continued to work like nothing happened!?!
    And I must note that I had 56x drive in my PC!!!

  33. Stephanie says:

    We had CD explode in our PC dvd drive this morning. There was a huge bang and when we managed to get the drive open the CD was in lots of little pieces. We got some of it out only to find the drive close again with pieces still stuck in there. Our IT guy is coming in tomorrow to replace the drive. He finds it hard to believe !

  34. Rick Harrison says:

    I saw your show with the cell phone and gas fumes, but what if the cell phone in the gas fumes was answered. The ringing of the cell phone did not ignite the gas fumes, but what if the cell phone was answered making a complete phone call.

  35. HARRY says:

    Rick.
    It’s not the ‘radio waves’ that are the problem, they are simply not powerful enough to cause a spark.
    The only real risk, & it’s a very small risk, is from battery failure or an uncontrolled spark if the phone is dropped.
    That’s why ALL battery operated equipment is not allowed.
    As others have said, static & distraction are a far greater & very real danger & to top all that off, the set of conditions for a fire to start is very precise, that’s why there’s not all that many.
    Having said all that I certainly don’t want to be standing at the next pump when someone is on the phone.

  36. Ed says:

    Hey Anders? Do you also see UFO’s? CellPhone Caused Fires are an Urban Legend and not worthy of any further investigation. SOURCE: University of Oklahoma Eletromagnetic Compatibility Research group. GOOGLE: Shell; Cellphones; Fires; and you will get plenty of hits stating it is a myth.

  37. Katie Price says:

    However the silicone breast one on the aeroplane can happen
    It happened to me last week…

  38. leon says:

    I had a cd explode in my comp tower I remembered that it was in the sun for a little bit earlier but it was cool when I placed it in the comp.
    Then on startup I herd a bag and looked in the drive and the cd was in many pieces.

  39. Gary says:

    About the cell phone myth, when i worked in a gas station i got told there are about a thousand different reasons that they give, the one we used was the fumes generally linger low to the ground and if someone dropped the phone it could create a spark either from the metal casing that some phones have or from the battery falling out if it hits the floor hard and if the mixture of air and fumes is just right it could start a fire, but even then the chances of it actually happening are insanely slim and it’s more a case of better safe then sorry.

    • Joe says:

      How many Amps go through a starter when one starts the motor? Have any idea how large the blue sparks are when this happens?

      Years ago when I smoked in the navy, I would put out my cigarettes in a coffee can of gas that I was using as a solvent.

      Think about static electricity making the difference.

  40. Left Quickly says:

    Re: Cellphones in Gas stations…

    Whether the myth is confirmed or busted.. I certainly don’t want to be proven otherwise. ;)

    As an aside… I once saw someone filling their tank with a lit cigarette in the other hand…. I left there rather quickly.

  41. MariJe says:

    Just had a CD explode in my new computer at work – I remembered this episode and told my coworkers that Mythbusters had “partially busted” this one – this computer had been reading this disc fine for a few days – and then today – thwunk – little explosion – it was quite something. I gotta say, I think the Mythbusters got this one wrong. It can happen.

  42. David Wilmshurst says:

    Cds even explode in Sydney Australia. Last night, DVD drive, about 15 inches or less from my head. Sure, i heard it. took about 2 hours to get all the little bits out of the drive. Many the size of sand grains. Surprisingly, the drive still works.

  43. robert brouwer says:

    Re the mobile phone myth. It is far more likely to set off a spark via static from clothes than a mobile phone. And just think of this, you are driving an explosive engine with all sorts of huge electrical and mechanical spark-inducers, right next to someone filling their open vapour tank. In the seventies my schoolmate was a driveway attendant at a gas station, and it was quite common to fill tanks whilst smoking (even by him). I never heard of an accident, but admit it seems dangerous.
    I work in large computer rooms now, and mobile phones are also banned there, also I believe due to old computers without even single bit memory error correction. But no-one is bothering to challenge the staus quo of banning mobile phones. At least it gives security guards and fuel station attendants something to do.

  44. Derek says:

    The CD shattering is deffinitely true. I just bought a CD yesterday, brand new, and started ripping it to my iTunes library. I left it in my computer overnight. This morning I sat down at my computer and tried taking the disc out, but my drive wouldn’t open but about 1/4 inch. I looked inside the drive and noticed little bits of broken CD laying on the tray. I had to unplug my computer and shake it until most of it came out. There’s still some broken CD in there that I couldn’t manage to get out. I’m using an external CD drive for the time being.

  45. Dan says:

    Mythbusters need to test whether talking on a cellphone while using a computer’s CD drive will cause a gas station to explode into 100 pieces of fire.

    The real question you need to ask yourself is: “How many people had burst into flames at gas stations before cellphones hit the common market?”

    As for the exploding C.D., I thought the myth was whether someone could be killed by the shrapnel, not whether the C.D. would shatter. Tho, then again, I have the ability to lose my car keys as soon as I set them down, so don’t trust my memory. Oh well, within 5 years, solid state drives will be taking over, lest someone discovers even tighter waves of laser light to read etched data. If my prediction is correct, then Mythbusters will have to test whether someone was killed by an exploding Compact Flash.

  46. CHUCK GOOLSBY says:

    Has anyone besides me had their hearing damaged
    due to a very loud pop from their cell phone??
    One month ago I received a call from a friend and
    didn’t ans. it. I called back within one minute
    with my Samsung cell phone (using AT&T service)
    and after (5) rings I got this extremely loud
    pop. It has greatly affected my hearing and I
    have constant ringing in my ear. If any attorney
    can help me out, please call me at 626-512-6122.

    • David says:

      I know this is a wild chance, but this happened to me yesterday. Samsung phone, loud pop, ringing ears. What were the results of this for you? I called you number but it is disconnected.

  47. Ian says:

    RB:
    Note that the link you listed referred to “Supply Gas” — this is not gasoline, but more similar to natural gas. Furthermore, the contractor was on the “OCS” or outer continental shelf, where there is no normal cell phone service, so the phone was likely a satellite phone.
    Myth still busted. Ban sweaters, keep phones.

  48. Leo says:

    Cd in a drive will shatter. Happen to me a few times. What i thinks it is, is that when u uses a cd it sometimes gets warm. and then u lets it cool. After a while, it starts to get cracks, then then when the cd rom spins, boom, it all over the place.
    Just to let u know i had a cd hooked up to my rotatory tool, which is rated at 32,000 rpm, the cd never broke, but it sure looked like it was going to.

  49. Neil says:

    CD-ROM max rotation speeds.

    The 52x max speed has more to do with the angle of the laser than anything else. There are several ways of making CD-ROMs, old ones used a process called negative photo-resist which leaves an indent in the CD that if looked at sideways looks like a U. Newer methods look more like a rectangle not not completely. As the disc turns faster and faster the angle the laser enters the pit increases. With the old CD-ROMs, the lower curve of the U started coming in to play around 30x and caused the CDs to read with errors unless the rotation was slowed down. Even with newer ones speeds at 52x bring the angle of the laser to a point where it’s becomes more and more difficult to tell a 1 from a 0. As more layers get added to the disc, the layers get thinner and this problem gets worse.

  50. Allan says:

    Cellphones causing fires-

    I think this depends largely on the type of cell phone, some older phones used pezio electric crystals for their ringer, and a wirewound motor for the vibrate. The wire wound motor would cause a very small spark when running (small amount of plasma between the brushes and the commutator in the motor)
    Also vibrating cellphones can develop static electricity.

    Although most of the time conditions have to be just right for a fuel fire at a gas station, most of the time there is enough of a breeze blowing to keep the fumes from building up.

    Seriously, it is more likely that the cellphone is acting as a distraction and the user is splashing fuel on the hot catalytic converter, exhaust system or another source of ignition.

    Locally a lady set fire to her car and the fuel pump at a filling station when she was talking on her cellphone and went to light a cigarette when filling her car. she noticed fire on the fumes coming from her fuel tank and yanked the fuel nozzle out of the car, spraying fuel on the car and in the back seat. No Darwin award for her, she just started a small fire and burned her car, but did not manage to blow herself up.
    Had she just stopped the nozzle and walked away the fire would have likely gone out on it’s own.

  51. Stanley Bujak says:

    I love you guys, but you are completely missing the point on the cell phone and gas station experiment. Your problem is that you are looking for direct impact of the cell phone on the vapors of gasoline. Think for a moment about Marconi’s experiment with the electromagnetic field. Think about coherer tube and spark gap transmitter and then imagine a rusted hinge on the gas access door. It is possible that rust can create bad connection between the flap and the body of the car. Now you activating your cell phone transmitter; your gas door acts like an antenna, metal oxide on the hinges are exposed to relatively strong magnetic field from your cell phone. If you have just the right condition, electromagnetic resonance is created, and the outcome is a small spark between the flap and the car, right in the area of the highest concentration of the vapors. Yes it is a long shut, but ask any ham operator about horror stories involving cross modulation coming from the rusted gutters on the outside of the house or other metal devices going in to a resonance and making receiving week signals next to impossible. You must admit that you did not think along that line when creating your experiment. Best Regards

  52. John says:

    Allan, you are absolutely correct. The brushes in the vibrate motors do produce small sparks, and with the correct fuel/air mixture, the sparks will cause ignition.

  53. gavin says:

    the only way a phone would start a fire is if it were in a belt clip and suffered a MASSIVE short causing a big spark. look at the surveillance tapes. these people always get in and out of their cars. this causes static buildup and can cause a big spark if you dont release it. thats part of why theirs bare stainless steel on the frames of most gas pumps

  54. Antonio says:

    I believe cell phone “may” cause fires. It’s better to be safe than sorry. However, there are other so-called myths that I think Mythbuster should test. Like don’t step on cracks, or you will break your mom’s back.

    I have seem 3 cases where this happened,
    1) My next door neighbor’s kid step outside of his house, and jumped on a crack. His mom’s back was broken from a skiing accident.
    2) My friend’s daughter was walking down the street one day and stepped on every crack. Her mom’s back broke from a car accident.
    3) My friend and I was walking down the street a while back, I was unable to stop him from stepping on a crack. his 70 year old mother falls down the stairs and broke her back.

    Please write to all your state representatives to pass a law banning stepping on cracks on the street. Again, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

    • Long says:

      this would make for a short episode.

  55. SpiritMoon says:

    On the CD shattering in the Drive, yes it can happen and happened to me last night as a matter of fact. Hubby and I went to a friends house to help him work on his computer and his computer totally destroyed my Windows XP disc. We were sitting there waiting for the computer to reload Windows, we all heard a very loud snap, my husband opened the drive, and our disc was in little peices. I can confirm, this is not an urban legend!

  56. Felicia says:

    The whole cell phone thing is insane.

    If the problem is battery operated equipment, what about the CAR? It has a pretty powerful battery in there. Much more powerful than the cell phone. How come we’re not so afraid to start it up in the gas station that we push it away from the pump?

    Go to the Petroleum Equipment Institute. Check Motorola (do a Google search). You’ll easily find that the people that work with cell phones and fossil fuels every day will tell you that the cell-phone/gas station exploding myth is just that… A MYTH!

    Good grief. Enough already!

  57. Felicia says:

    And for the person that quoted mms.gov, there’s a subsequent safety alert indicating that subsequent testing allowed them to conclude that the cellphone was not likely to be the culprit. As a matter of fact, they could not rule out static electricity as a possible case. Please stop with the red herrings

    http://www.mms.gov/safetyalerts/6.htm

  58. Karl Spencer says:

    CD’s do shatter in drives!! My Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator 2 disc just exploded into tiny pieces with a loud bang and what looked like a puff of smoke but was probably just dust off the casing! Gave me a bit of a fright though. The disc may have been damaged though, I can’t claim it was fresh out of the box!

  59. Javier says:

    My son just came running into my room yelling “dad, my computer just blew up!”. Skeptical and with a smile on my face I go to his room and after some investigating I find his computer still on but his game won’t work and the cd won’t eject. I manually open the cd-rom and his Diablo-II game has been shattered into a hundred pieces. This is the first time I have heard of a cd shattering like that.

  60. Tron9000 says:

    if you search for shell and petrol fires, you will find a document on what not to do at petrol/gas stations.

    In it, it states that by dropping or turn the mpbile on and off repeatedly will cause ignition of fumes.

    now I doubt the latter of those statements as most mobiles have soft switches, which cuse on arcing, but dropping your mobile could break the casing on the Li-ion battery and cause it to catch fire.

    reckon that’s what they mean?

  61. Anon says:

    To explode a CD, make a crack within the middle of the CD. After a few uses, it will explode within the CD drive.

    There, confirmed.

  62. hillipol says:

    water balloons will explode at high altitude example: in a plane

  63. Bill says:

    CDs do explode! Create a split in the center of the CD, and after a few minutes, the split will have multiplied by 100 and crack the CD into 1000 pieces.

  64. Tim says:

    So they ban cell phone use at gas stations, but not the wearing of wool sweaters? Excuse me while I LOL!… The only way a cell phone is going to cause a spark is if you factor in the probability of dropping the cell phone, the battery lid flies open, the battery flies out and the terminals just happen to make contact with conductive material somewhere around the vapors, then WHOOSH, it would go. It would be a very rare event since most of the cell phone battery terminals I’ve seen are recessed into the casing. Somebody would have to do it on purpose. A static charge from your clothes has a higher chance of igniting the vapors, which I have seen happen numerous times.

    CD’s do shatter in high speed drives, but not under normal conditions. There is always a flaw either in the disc and/or the drive itself which causes it to happen. I’ve had a few discs to pop in my drives, especially those poorly manufactured imation discs. By the way, if you think the drive is still good, then it’s okay to disconnect the drive, open the cover, and vacuum it out with a shop vac. Just make sure you’re grounded to something to avoid a static charge… careful now!… don’t be doing this while pumping gas… ha ha ha.

    • Long says:

      i imagined someone doing that on purpose. made my day.

  65. 1Hotmama says:

    I trust a corporate such as Shell to give me advice based on science about as likely as Bin Laden giving advice based on the moral high ground. They advise no mobiles for reasons other than fire. The energy and sparks released from engine starter motors, electric aerials and the numerous other non intrinically safe electical motors on cars are far more hazardous that a 2 watt circuit board. Wake up people.

  66. Nano says:

    Just got a cd explosion on my Asus DVD Drive w/ lightscribe and now my drive is malfunctioning

  67. Nano says:

    My disc was already stressed so that might be the cause of it.

  68. Jazzi & Seth & Delpherion Johnson says:

    hey, this myth is confirmed. i no because this one time i had found one of my Metallica Cd’s that had been scratched, my dad had some scratch remover so i put some onto it, then i put it into the microwave so that it would dry faster it was pretty wet so i put it in for 1 minute and walked into the next room, i heard sparks in about 30 seconds in. I went back to the kitchen to find that the Cd was cracked even more. I then turned around and then put the Cd into the big karaoke machine on the cabinet next to the table. Then i played started to load it while i checked the mail. When i came back the Cd was shattered. ~Jazzi~

    • calan says:

      ahahhahahahahah you put a cd in the microwave? theres your problem

  69. Frank says:

    The myth about the exploding cd is true! i had a ps2 (small) and i was playing Star Wars Batlefront IItm, and i had no memory card so my playstation was on for about 7-10 days and on hte ninth day or 10th, i heard a loud SQEUK! and when i opend the cd tray and a shard of the sattered cd flung into my arm! And i can tell you it hurted like hell!

  70. Peter Lewis says:

    I’ve just seen your program tonight where you have tried to explode a container containing petrol fumes with a mobile phone(cell phone). We were shown a film clip at my works of what WILL HAPPEN. PETROL FILLING STATIONS AND MOBILE PHONES DO NOT MIX.

  71. Victoria P. says:

    To Joe Marr: Too little; too thin; too much, learn to see the difference, or you may get one or two comments like this one!!

  72. Rodrigo says:

    mythbusters not a very good place to get the truth about anything…

  73. Loom says:

    Cell phones can never ignite a fire. In fact they are not prohibited on gas stations, (there is no law against this). It´s just adviced not to use cell phone for a matter of distraction, for making you to pay attention at what you are doing and preventig accidents, (getting hit by a car, or preventing gas leakings) and by that preventing gas stations being sued. An email hoax was the one which mixed fire and cell phones, and like de viral video of popcorn and celll phones, it worked.

  74. Gary S. says:

    Loom – wrong! In most of the world, the petroleum officer or fire officer, requires that mobile phones are kept in the car and off.

    As to the mythbusters item, they are DEFINITELY wrong. We (together with a major pump manufacturer) recreated this by placing two mobile phones over a bucket of petrol. After the 16th attempt, the petrol ignited.

    The additional reason why you don’t want a mobile phone near a pump is interference with the pump calculators themselves. Every pump is finely set up based on weights and measures requirements. We have found that held close enough, the phone can interfere with the calculator head, and usually not in the customer’s favour… Note most pumps communicate using 2-wire TX/RX, either via Serial or LON. One blip in the comms could cause issues.

    • Long says:

      sounds like it takes effort to get these results.

      • Jeffrey S Austin says:

        Too many civilians think and/or claim that they know more about firefighting then I do.

        Not only do I have my NFPA 1001 Firefighter 1, NFPA 1001 Firefighter 2, NFPA 472 Hazardous Materials Awareness, NFPA 472 Hazardous Materials Operations, NFPA 1041 Fire Instructor 1, NFPA 1021 Fire Officer 1 qualified to sit for my NFPA 1021 Fire Officer 2 exam but also have a degree in Fire Science. I’ve been doing this job for awhile.

        Consider the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to be more knowledgeable about fire safety the some industry hack looking to make his clients look good at the expense of public safety.

  75. Phlogiston23121212 says:

    I have actually had a CD bust on me, but it was because the tray cap snapped the disk because the disk wasn’t in properly when they closed the tray. Theoretically, very theoretically, I could see a disk fail if the disk was not completely snapped in completely

  76. Dave says:

    I was trying to make new copies of scratched CDs when my computer froze. On doing a restart the CD drive wound up like a jet taking off. (Way faster than normal).Within two seconds there was a loud bang just as I got the drive unplugged. Upon opening the drive, there were little pieces everywhere. During the explosion pieces hit the ribbon wire and pulled it from the drive head. I spent about three hours trying to remove all the little fragments from the drive. The biggest problem was getting all the little pieces of the label. They are metalic and stick to plastic parts. they also stuck to solder joints on the circuit boards. After every tiny piece was removed I re-attached the ribbon cable (had some very good hit marks)and put it all back together. To my surprise it still worked when I started it up. Now I check every disk going into any type of drive.

  77. mahir says:

    maybe they were careful not to create interference with the equipment they use

  78. Aaron says:

    Um, last weekend I had a disc shatter inside my drive, and there was nothing wrong with the disc, it’s been stored in a case-logic, felt-lined CD case, and had ZERO scratches, nicks, burrs or cracks. I have picture proof, and corroborating statements from my wife and son who both said that they heard a loud pop and then the CD/DVD-RW drive stopped working. Like many in here, I was in disbelieve. I went so far as to consider the possibility that my wife was trying to do something evil to me in revenge for something, by destroying my computer or parts of it at least.

    No, I think it was heat. She’d been ripping discs to populate her new iPod for over two hours, and the heat probably got to be too much or something.

    No clue, but this myth is far from busted because I was removing 1 inch diameter fragments of disc, as well as very tiny, almost wood shaving sized slivers of disc. I had to use compressed air to get the drive cleaned because some of the pieces were so small and hidden behind delicate parts that I couldn’t reach them with my hand.

    Like others, my disc drive still works after I put it all back together.

  79. nicolas j gonzalez says:

    This morning I experienced this myself about “CDs can shatter”
    very strange case:
    196mb cd-rom (50milimeters) is always kept in a paper envelope, therefore it is impossible that was fractured and he also had a short time of use, no scratches.
    Because the size is impossible to have had to rotate at excessive speed, was used in one drive before without problems.

    I express my disagreement with the conclusion of the myth, based on my own strange experience of today
    please reply

  80. WTP 2 says:

    when a cell phone is just on it can put out a signal to tell the tower that it is “here”.so as long as it is on it can call out. it is a ping so to speek. as there isn’t hundreds of fires i will say it can’t cause a fire. ok if it is in your pocket radio waves still get out. blame the fires on static discharge.

  81. mimmy says:

    Hey there,the myth for silicone explosion is not totaly busted. All over the news in my country is this story,that happened 4 days ago: a girl who just had her 400 cubic sm breast put a week ago (still with the bandage on) took a flight to her boyfriend on the other side of the country. her silicone broke during the take-off of the plane. at first she couldnt tell what was happening, she could feel “tering pain” in her breasts,when the stewardesses took her clothes off the silicone was all over her body. THe name of the girl,where is she from and the name of the flight company are mentoined + short interview with stewardesses, so it cant be fake. Mythbusters if u read this can u try the myth again, it really puzzled me. thanks

  82. Long says:

    Some friends told me cell phone would kill me at a gas station because it would ignite the fumes, so I got kinda mad. I went to the gas station with them. I stood next to the pump and made a call, hung up, then got a call. Nothing happened. Then I went inside and got some matches. I started lighting them until one my friends started crying.

  83. Fradique says:

    I personally experienced a cd-rom exploding in an standard 52X drive, perhaps the disc was made with cheap materials or something, we tried to replicate the behavior but it was futile.

  84. Jeffrey S Austin says:

    Given the right conditions, ANY electronic device can cause an explosion or fire. That’s why we have electronic devices that are labeled intrinsically safe. I am a firefighter and have investigated a few fires that remain suspicious to this day but mobile phone was found at the scene and they were burned.

    The flash point of gasoline is -45°F and has an autoignition temperature of 475–536 °F. Once again, there are several factors that can lead to an explosion. Weather is probably the biggest factor, calm wind, very low humidity are the two biggest. In other words, static electricity.

    The biggest reason not to be talking on a mobile phone? Paying attention of the job at hand, filling your tank with petrol.

  85. Jeffrey S Austin says:

    Seems to be a lot of self proclaimed experts willing to discuss whether or not mobile phones have ever caused an explosion and then a fire will gasoline as the source of fuel. Read and then heed:

    Recently, a flash fire occurred on a platform in the Gulf of Mexico OCS Region while a contract panel specialist was working on an open panel that used supply gas for the instrumentation. The contractor was carrying a cellular phone that was turned on and rang while working on the panel. When the employee flipped the bottom piece of the phone to answer the call, a flash fire occurred causing second degree burns on his forearms and face.

    To prevent portable electronic devices (PEDs) from igniting Class I, Group D gases or vapors (e.g. methane, propane, natural gas, gasoline), the BOEMRE recommends you consider initiating one or more of the following practices:

    bullet Include procedures for using PEDs in your “hot work” permit, if not already incorporated.

    bullet Make employees aware of the potential hazards when using electronic devices (e.g., pagers, cellular phones, laptop computers, drills, pocket PC’s, cameras, video equipment, and radios) in hazardous classified locations.

    bullet Only allow employees to use PEDs that have been tested, approved and labeled by a third party testing laboratory such as Factory Mutual (FM) or Underwriters Laboratory (UL) certifying their use in Class I, Group D locations.

    bullet Use intrinsically safe portable electronic equipment, that use low capacitance components, special board layouts, and encapsulation techniques which meet stringent standards (e.g., API RP 14F & 14FZ) for use in hazardous environments.

  86. JasonD says:

    Add me to the list of people who’ve had a CD explode. The CD was undamaged, if heavily used (and therefore “worn”); I had used it frequently in my OLD computer. I got a new computer, and about the second time I used said CD, it went boom.

    Observationally, then, the difference was the newer computer with its faster spinning drive. The older CD, despite having no cracks, was simply not made to tolerate later-model RPMs.

  87. Cerise Rowan says:

    Cd, ripping an audio book, loud BANG… cd shattered in drive… one of a very worn and battered set of audiobooks from the library. I did save the drive but the library wants to charge me for the cd. The cds also had a thick label attached to one side of the cd, not balanced on the other and were extremely worn and scratched, many tracks would not play. Maybe I could get mythbusters to do a show at the Redondo Beach Library and demonstrate to them ;-) the librarian would be great for the show, I didn’t know they still made them so pedantic, in a twin set no less. I’m sorry for seeing Amelia Peabody Emerson disc 11 blown to bits, she would not have approved… but I will argue for a year and a day to defend the unfairly fined (including myself). Amelia would have wanted that.

  88. Matt says:

    Here is another problem I have with Mythbusters they are either completely stupid or clueless about what they are doing.

    You realize your calling a cell phone that you didn’t answer. Not that I think it would work, but don’t you think to see if it would work you would actually answer the phone?!? Cause isn’t the myth that your on the phone why it happens.

  89. Mamoel says:

    Seriously, Mythbusters telling us that it is safe to use cellphone on gas station?
    what about lot of CCTV records showing sudden flame from the gas station and the cellphone user is not even touching the gas pump?

  90. Anumaneitaka says:

    - Разместят ли банерную рекламу и т.д., т.к. полнота и широта рекламы продаваемого шиньона обеспечивают её эффективность и, в конечном счёте, успех сделки.

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