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Electro Magnetic field biological effects - AC vs DC, current vs voltage?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Voltaic, May 11, 2015.

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  1. Voltaic


    May 6, 2015
    When considering electro-magnetic fields emitted by very close heating devices (for example electric blankets/foot warmers etc. etc.) which type of power would produces the least harmful effects.

    What are the various biological effects (or possible effects) of voltage vs current and dc vs ac?
    For example supposing a 12v or 5v dc supply with much higher current vs more common commercial 240v ac products.

    Would you expect that very low voltage would produce less harmful effects than high.
    I would assume that DC being a constant, smooth supply would be less harmful than fast alternating ac.
  2. davenn

    davenn Moderator

    Sep 5, 2009
    This is a very complex subject and as such probably best answered by medical experts

    I would encourage anyone who answers this thread to respond with ONLY links to
    reputable medical research, rather than giving unsubstantiated personal opinions

  3. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    Generally speaking, for the same power, a high voltage and lower current (DC) will generate a relatively stronger electrical field and a relatively weaker magnetic field than a lower voltage at a higher current.

    Changing from DC to AC will change this in that the fields will be alternating at the frequency of the power source.

    Magnetic fields can be controlled to some extent by changing the way the current flows -- a low inductance wiring pattern will generate a lower magnetic field. Also, it is possible to shield these fields.

    Both electric and magnetic fields do have physiological effects, and there are also frequency dependencies. Perhaps you can research the effects of electric and magnetic fields? I would warn you that there is much stated on the internet that is unproven, so you should be very aware of this when weighing up the quality of anything you read.
    davenn likes this.
  4. Voltaic


    May 6, 2015
    Thanks yes I understand there will be theories and the answer isn't crucial it's more a topic of interest where I want to hear the theories as well.
    Last edited: May 11, 2015
  5. BobK


    Jan 5, 2010
    The most harmful electromagnetic radiation you will be exposed to comes from the sun.

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