static

 

Are static shocks a health risk?

May 30, 2013

ESD-Q&A

 

Question:  Are static shocks a health risk?

Answer: Static shocks can be a nuisance – but are not generally a health risk.

Fortunately there is little risk attached to such electrostatic discharges. In most cases they are just a common nuisance. The biggest risk is that a shock could cause you to have an accidental injury. For example, you might withdraw your arm suddenly and hit it against something.

Household static shocks, for example, are very high frequency and have a very short duration. According to LiveScience.com, it’s possible to generate up to 25,000 volts by dragging your feet across a carpet, though  the voltage of a typical carpet shock between a few hundred to a few thousand volts. People can typically feel static at 2000 volts. Either way, household static shocks are almost always harmless. Most of the shocks that electrocute people are at a much lower frequency, a much longer duration, and have more energy creating a much more significant driving force.

examples of static generation

 

Every Thursday, Transforming Technologies will answer questions concerning all things ESD: static causes, threats,  ESD prevention, best practices and all things static in a feature we call ESD Q&A.  If you have ESD questions that you would like to be answered, email info@transforming-technologies.com  with Q&A in the subject line.

 

What is the greatest static threat to electronics?

May 9, 2013

ESD-Q&A

Q:  What is the greatest static threat to electronics and other materials?

A:  YOU!

The human body can generate the biggest charge of anything likely to come near these devices.

Charge can often build-up on people and reach levels that give uncomfortable shocks, can damage sensitive electronic parts or give fire risks when handling solvents and other flammable materials. Dry air humidity encourages static charge build-up, and under dry external conditions the atmosphere in a building can become even drier. Electrostatic charge build-up can be far worse under these conditions. For example, on a dry day, humans can generate a static field of more than 100 volts by just the slight raising of an arm.  During normal, everyday activities, it is common to generate 6,000 volts or more.

Every Thursday, Transforming Technologies will answer questions concerning all things ESD: static causes, threats,  ESD prevention, best practices and all things static in a feature we call ESD Q&A.  If you have ESD questions that you would like to be answered, email info@transforming-technologies.com  with Q&A in the subject line.