Physiological effects of current density on the human body are shown in the table below. Contrary to popular belief, it is the current - not the voltage - level which is responsible for effects. According to Ohm's Law, of course, a certain voltage is required to cause the necessary currents to flow. Values show vary depending on the body.
Personally, I have been hit with 480 V while working on a 3-phase industrial motor connection. It didn't feel good.
See article on shock level versus pain level from Discover magazine.
The following table of quantity of electrical current and its effect on men and women is from work done by the inventor of the Ground Fault Interrupter circuit, Charles Dalziel.
|Slight sensation on hand||1||0.6||0.4||0.3||7||5|
|Perception threshold, median||5.2||3.5||1.1||0.7||12||8|
|Shock - not painful and muscular control not lost||9||6||1.8||1.2||17||11|
|Painful shock - muscular control lost by ½%||62||41||9||6||55||37|
|Painful shock - let-go threshold, median||76||51||16||10.5||75||50|
|Painful and severe shock - breathing difficult, muscular control lost by 99½%||90||60||23||15||94||63|
|Possible ventricular fibrillation|
Short shocks (T in seconds)
High voltage surges
* Energy in watt-seconds
| || |
Table retrieved from the "Deleterious Effects of Electric Shock," by Professor Charles Dalziel, 1961.
|1||Threshold of sensation|
|13||Cannot let go|
|70||Extreme breathing difficulties|
Above is the original table for this page.
Posted April 26, 2004