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Re: [TCML] Dizziness and a headache

NOx turns into nitric acid when exposed to moisture like in your eyes, nose and lungs.

 From: Bert Hickman <bert@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: Tesla Coil Mailing List <tesla@xxxxxxxxxx> 
Sent: Sunday, June 8, 2014 4:01 PM
Subject: Re: [TCML] Dizziness and a headache

Hi Jim,

It's not charged air. You were most likely feeling the symptoms of early 
ozone poisoning. Small coils tend to generate larger quantities of 
ozone, while larger (with hotter arcs and leaders) tend to produce more 
nitrogen oxides (NOx). And, neither are particularly good for you. 
Exposure to ozone can be even more hazardous for folks with lung 
diseases or other breathing problems.

Ozone is sneaky stuff. Although small amounts feel can smell like "fresh 
air", your sense of smell rapidly becomes less sensitive to it, and 
concentrations can build to levels that can easily cause medical 
symptoms with little warning. Ozone poisoning symptoms include eye, nose 
and throat irritation, feeling lightheaded, headaches (mild at first, 
then throbbing/painful migraine-like). Getting into an area with fresh 
air will usually cause these symptoms to slowly go away over tens of 
minutes to a few hours. Note that continued exposure can cause loss of 
consciousness, your lungs filling with fluid and, ultimately, death. 
There is evidence that some effects of ozone exposure may be cumulative.

Tesla Coils should be be operated with good ventilation or operated for 
short times with several minutes between runs to permit any toxic gases 
to dissipate. The half-life of ozone is about 2 minutes - it breaks down 
into harmless oxygen, so after 8 minutes, it's down to about 6% of its 
original level. However, many of the NOx gases can persist for 
considerably longer, so ventilation is always strongly suggested when 
operating coils for any extended periods. If this is not possible, you 
will need to leave the area for your own safety.

Please review the safety sheet for coiling here:


Jim wrote:
> Hello,
> My son and I displayed our small Tesla Coil (9,000-volt, 60mah NST) at
> the NC Makers Fair yesterday. Everything went fine but our space was
> limited. We, as well as the viewers were less than 10 - feet from the
> coil as it was running. Also, After we ran it for about 30-seconds I
> showed the viewers an up-close look at the coil and gave them a quick
> tutorial. This required me to squat down. Everytime that I got up after
> the tutorial I would experience dizziness. My son was complaining about
> a headache for about 7 - hours during the Fair. Could the charged air
> surrounding the coil have caused my dizziness and my son's headache?
> Thanks for the good advice,
> The day was a real success thanks to the helpful people on this forum.
> Jim
> _______________________________________________
> Tesla mailing list
> Tesla@xxxxxxxxxx
> http://www.pupman.com/mailman/listinfo/tesla

Bert Hickman
Stoneridge Engineering
World's source for "Captured Lightning" Lichtenberg Figure sculptures,
magnetically "shrunken" coins, and scarce/out of print technical books

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