There are many dangers associated with electricity. The real danger with electrical shock is amperage, not voltage. Although people have been killed by as little as 120-volt AC and low voltage DC, the silent killer is the amount of amperage in milliampers that flow through a person's body. Any electrical device is capable of dealing a deadly blow, depending on the amount of current flowing through it. In fact, a deadly dose of current in the 100-200 milliamperes range is likely a fatal amount.
To better understand how amperage amounts effect the human body and how your body reacts to these amperage levels, the following list of effects has been furnished to help you determine the severity of an electrical shock.
- 1-10 Milliampers Person will feel little or no electrical shock effects or sensation.
- 10-20 Milliampers Painful shock will occur like a jolt, but muscle control will not be lost at this amperage.
- 20-75 Milliampers This shock is more serious. You'll receive a a painful jolt and muscle control will be lost resulting in the inability to let go of something you may have grabbed that is shocking you.
- 75-100 Milliamperage As the current approaches 100 milliamperes, ventricular fibrillation of the heart occurs and damage is done.
- 100-200 Milliamperes Ventricular fibrillation occurs and death can occur if medical attention is not administered quickly.
- Over 200 Milliamperes Severe burns and severe muscle contractions occur. Your heart can stop during a shock because the chest muscles put pressure on the heart. Internal organs can be damaged at this stage and in you survive, a painful recovery can be expected. What may surprise you about this level of shock is that through this clamping effect on the heart, ventricular fibrillation is avoided and the chances of a person's survival is good if the victim is removed from the electrical circuit.