WAZIPOINT Engineering Science & Technology: The Fact About Electrical Shock and Physiological Effects

Friday, January 11, 2019

The Fact About Electrical Shock and Physiological Effects

The Current Limit That Can Kill You
The Current Limit and Physiological Effects of Electric Shock 

The Fact of Fatal Current:

The real fact about fatal current is that most fatal electric shocks happen to people who knows better but ignores or careless for a moment.

From the above fatal current chart we can observe that while any amount of current over 10 milli-amps (0.01 amp) is capable of producing painful to severe shock, currents between 100 and 200 mA (0.1 to 0.2 amp) are lethal death.

Currents above 200 milli-amps (0.2 amp), while producing severe burns and unconsciousness. 

For currents above 10 mA, muscular contractions are so strong that the victim cannot let go of the wire that is shocking him. At values as low as 20mA, breathing becomes labored, finally ceasing completely even at values below 75 mA.

As the current approaches 100 mA, ventricular fibrillation of the heart occurs - an uncoordinated twitching of the walls of the heart's ventricles which results in death.

The current limit and Physiological effects of electric shock  chart in above shows details the physiological effects of various currents from the range 0.001 ampere to 1 ampere. 

Note herewith that voltage is not a consideration. Although it takes voltage to make current flow, the amount of shock-current will vary, depending on the body resistance between the points of contact.

Who is responsible to kill us voltage or Current?

What is the human body resistance?

From a physicist's point of view, both voltage and current are responsible to kill us during an electrical shock. It's a combination of certain level of voltage and current to kill us in an electrical shock,

The voltage itself is not enough to kill. Fact is that there are sources of very high voltage that don't provide very much current at all as would be the case with static electricity. 

Human body itself having some resistance to protect the current flow through into it. So, a certain voltage need to overcome the resistance of our body, and then it need a certain level of current follow to actually do damage body cell.

Doing a fatal damage in human body not necessary a large amount of voltage and currents, a little amount but a pretty long period may occur a fatal damage even a death. A current of a few milli-amps across the heart will be enough to kill. 

A voltage about 100V or something like that is potentially enough to flow a few milli-amps current across human heart that may cause fatal damage and death.

Electrical socket used in our household is carrying voltage and current enough to  dangerous shock. We should be careful to use any electrical appliances to avoid any kind of electrical hazards and fatal shock.


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