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Electric Shock Effects

June 21st Fact-of-the-Day

Some people think they will be able pull their hands away if they accidentally touch an electrical conductor charged with enough voltage to cause injury or death. There are several serious problems with that idea. When someone decides to move their hands their brain sends low-voltage electrical signals via nerves to muscles that move their hands. Those electrical signals are so small compared to the much higher voltage typically associated with an electrical shock that their effects on muscles are relatively negligible compared to the much stronger effects of the external voltage. A shocked person's brain instantly looses muscle control and the external voltage causes their muscles to contract strongly. That may cause one or both hands to tightly grip the conductor, and if that happens, their brain will not be able to release their grip. Even if that doesn't happen and there is only instantaneous contact, electric current flows so fast that their heart, lungs, and other vital organs may be critically injured almost instantly. ©2005 Martek International All rights reserved.

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