Voltage and Health
if static electricity produces high voltages why isn't it
harmful to people? how is it different from transformers and other sources which
also produce high voltage but are harmful?
Static electricity is harmful when enough current is involved, e.g., a bolt
The current in static electricity is extremely low, on the order of a pico
amp (1/1000000000000). Involuntary muscle contractions (can't let go!)
occurs at about 10 milliamps (10/1000). Clearly, the current in a typical
static discharge is far below this level. In a transformer, ther is the
possibility of 1000 amps or more. This may very well be lethal.
---Nathan A. Unterman
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Update: June 2012