RF biological hazards? (fwd)

From:  Jim Lux [SMTP:jimlux-at-earthlink-dot-net]
Sent:  Thursday, May 07, 1998 12:36 PM
To:  Tesla List
Subject:  Re: RF biological hazards? (fwd)

> From: Malcolm Watts <MALCOLM-at-directorate.wnp.ac.nz>
> To: Tesla List <tesla-at-pupman-dot-com>
> Subject: Re: RF biological hazards? (fwd)
> <snip> 
> > There is also the arc to the power line problem, also, as mentioned by
> > Greg. A good reason to not ground yourself with a low impedance
> > (No sweaty bare feet in the rain!) Here is a question, assume that you
> > this low impedance arc between the TC and you. Do you also get an arc
> > you to the ground, or is the power just coupled capacitively? In the
> > case, you wouldn't be part of a power arc.
> Well I think that if coupling is purely capacitive you are part of 
> the circuit but circuit impedances will be high to low frequencies 
> present. However, at typical output voltages with six - twelve Joules 
> present, I have experienced sparks going right through the soles of 
> some sneakers I've worn. I have received some quite horrendous shocks 
> from high capacitance coils but only in sshot mode. I don't attract 
> repetitive arcs when coiling with more than about 500mJ in the 
> primary. I also avoid the high energy discharges in any mode these 
> days.
> Malcolm

I've noticed the same with a Van de Graaf generator, where your body gets
charged to well over the breakdown of air/rubber between your foot and the
ground, when you step off the insulated platform.

I think avoiding discharges is a good thing in any case. I hate even the
milliJoule static on a dry day. My youthful experience with line voltage
shocks (bad wiring practice on my projects, working in the garage with bare
feet, etc.)  has conditioned me to even use the one hand in pocket rule
when probing TTL circuitry.