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Old 04-08-2012, 10:53 AM   #1
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Question about 12v Car Batteries


I have been hearing from several people that despite putting a finger on each terminal of a 12v car battery, a person does not feel anything because despite the high potential of amps, the resistance of skin is too high.

However, on a separate post, someone has claimed to have tested putting one terminal of the car battery on their, tongue and the other terminal on a finger and said they felt a nasty acidic taste in their mouth and some tingling sensation. My question is shouldn't putting your tongue on one terminal and a finger on the other of a car battery be dangerous and cause fibrillation as the pathway of the current/voltage would then be across the heart? how come this person claimed to only feel tingles and an acidic taste in the tongue, is this because resistance is still too high even from tongue to finger to reach the heart?
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:58 AM   #2
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Question about 12v Car Batteries


I don't think 12 volts is enough to cause health problems. I believe I read 48v is minimum that can have an effect.
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:58 AM   #3
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Question about 12v Car Batteries


First off, anyone who puts their tongue in a car battery is an idiot, plain and simple.

The reason you don't feel anything is because of a) the resistance of your skin, and b) the low voltage of the battery.

The whole "it's the amps that gets you" thing is a farce. It is the current (amps) FLOWING through your body that does the damage, but it is the voltage that gets it there. The amps of a circuit, or the potential amps of a battery, are ABSOLUTELY irrelevant. The voltage of a circuit or battery is what's important.
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:16 AM   #4
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Question about 12v Car Batteries


Thanks for the replies, for me it was more trying to understand how he places a tongue on one terminal and the other on a finger and still the effect not being lethal as I had always thought it would be the path across the heart that was dangerous. I guess the tongue's resistance in this case of a 12v battery was also too high then for any current to get to his heart?
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:21 AM   #5
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Question about 12v Car Batteries


No, 12v is simply not nearly enough to be fatal.
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:24 PM   #6
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Question about 12v Car Batteries


The wet tongue's resistance is essentially nothing, which is why you can get a shocking sensation from a 9v battery on the tongue. The resistance of the finger touching the other battery terminal is what kept the dumb from getting a potentially damaging shock.

The internal resistance of the body is fairly low, and it would not take much voltage to allow a dangerous amount of current to flow. The resistance of dry skin is much higher, which is why it generally takes 50v or more to flow any appreciable amount of current through the body.
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