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Static Fields

2. What are the sources of static electric fields?

    The source document for this Digest states:

    Static electric fields occur naturally in the atmosphere. Values of up to 3 kV m-1 can occur under thunderclouds, but otherwise lie in the range 1–100 V m-1 in fair weather. The next most common cause of human exposure is charge separation as a result of friction. For example, charge potentials of several kilovolts can be accumulated while walking on non-conducting carpets, generating local fields of up to 500 kV m-1. direct current (DC) power transmission can produce static electric fields of up to 20 kV m-1, rail systems using DC can generate fields of up to 300 V m-1 inside the train, and VDUs create electric fields of around 10 - 20 kV m-1 at a distance of 30 cm.

    Source & ©: WHO "Environmental Health Criteria 232: Static Fields" (2006)
     Chapter 1, Section 1.1.1 Natural and Human-made sources

    For more information on   See EHC 232
    Natural electric fields    Chapter 3, Section 3.1.1 
    Man-made electric fields    Chapter 3, Section 3.2.1  

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