- On June 7, 2017
Have you ever wondered what goes on through your body when you get an electric shock? What is the state of your mind and limbs when you come in contact with electrical pulses? What affects the flow of electricity? Let’s find out here.
Electricity flows easily through many materials and some of them make it much easier for it to flow through them than others. Most metals are not resistant to electric current and we call them “conductors.” The most common yet unobserved conductor is the surface of the earth.
Substances such as glass, plastic, clay, porcelain, and dry wood, etc. generally slow down or stop the flow of electricity. Our body belongs to the former description and this makes us a conductor as well. Electricity usually travels in closed circuits through a conductor but sometimes our body may mistakenly become a part of this electric circuit. This can result in an electric shock.
Shocks usually happen due to electrical problems in our home. When the human body comes in the path of the current flowing through open poles or electric wires or a circuit, it experiences what we call an electric shock. Similarly, we become prone to shocks when we make contact with a metallic part of an electric circuit or accidentally come in contact with broken insulation or when we touch another conductor that is carrying a current. When you receive a shock, electricity flows between the parts of your body or through your body to the ground or the earth.
What Effect Do Electric Shocks Have On Our Body?
An electric shock is shocking in every sense of the word. It can result in a slight tingling sensation or in an immediate cardiac arrest. The severity ranges a lot and depends on the following factors:
- The amount of current that flows through your body
- The path of the current through the body
- The duration for which your body remains in the circuit
- The electric current’s frequency
The following shows the general relationship between our body and the amount of current we may receive. It also sheds light on the body’s reaction when current flows from our hand to our foot for 1 second.
Effects of Electric Current in the Human Body
Less than 1 milliampere
This is generally not perceptible
A faint tingle is noticed
Slight shock is felt which is not painful but disturbing
An average individual may feel strong involuntary reactions which can lead to other injuries
6–25 milliamperes on women
May result in painful shock and loss of muscle control
9–30 milliamperes on men
This is the freezing current where the individual cannot let go
They might be thrown away from the electrical circuit if their extensor muscles are stimulated
Extreme pain accompanied by respiratory arrest and severe muscular contractions
In some cases death is also a possibility
The rhythmic pumping action of the heart may cease followed or accompanied by muscular contraction and possible nerve damage
In such cases death is quite likely
May result in cardiac arrest, severe burns and death