When doing EMF testing around Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Camarillo, Ventura, Malibu, Moorpark and Simi Valley, I have notice that home buyers and homeowners with children need to be especially careful about Contact Current.
Contact Current is the flow of electrons that goes through your body and completes a circuit. It flows within a person when two areas on that person’s body are in contact with conductive surfaces with different electrical potentials, or voltages.
It can be encountered by simply touching appliances, floors, water fixtures, bath, sink, shower and drain or swimming in pools when energized electrical current is flowing on them. Thanks to efforts at the NIEHS and EPRI, there is a recent body of research to suggest an association between childhood leukemia and chronic exposures to even small levels of contact currents.
When a child touches contact current while he or she is dry, the current will be relatively small, as dry skin has a high electrical resistance. When a child touches contact current while bathing, however, the moisture will breach the skin’s insulation, lowering its resistance so that more dangerous current will flow. While strong currents are very noticeable to the touch, “weak” current is imperceptible to human touch, except for those people who are electro-hypersensitive (EHS).
“Pipe Current” is illustrated in this EPRI infographic:
For detecting and measuring contact current, I use several tools including a Fluke 287 and some specialized equipment that I’ve imported from Europe. Sometimes it’s possible to reduce contact current to make a home much safer. Other times, when unhygienic levels can not be easily mitigated, a buyer may wish to find another house — especially if children are involved.
- Even extremely low levels of contact current may be associated with an increased risk for Childhood Leukemia in reports by the Electric Power Research Institute and other researchers.
- Ironically, small amounts of contact current may do much greater damage to children than ambient magnetic or electric fields.
- Specialized testing is available for your home.
More Detail: Magnetic Field Induction On The Grounding System
The electricity leaving your local substation on high voltage lines eventually flows to your house and must return to that substation in order to complete a circuit. After ‘feeding your appliances,’ the current then returns to the substation.
Did you know that at every few poles, a portion of neutral return current is dumped into the earth to make its way back to the substation so the utility needs less neutral return infrastructure? The multi-grounded neutral system provides the returning current two choices: either it can return via the neutral line (which accounts for the second wire on our electrical poles) or it can return through the ground. This cost saving measure is good for them but sometimes bad for you. Why? Because electrical current flows through the path of least resistance–sometimes through yards and inside homes.
If there is more resistance in the neutral line than in the ground, the current will flow through the ground to return to the substation. Sometimes a utility’s undersized neutral conductors, poor maintenance or broken equipment (ex. a loose or broken neutral) can result in stray 60 Hz current and a trail of harmonics intruding into a home’s grounding system and ride along conductive surfaces such as water pipes.
Other times, however, contact current is not the fault of the utility company — but is due to problems with a homeowner’s own wiring. Sometimes it’s both. If you would like to schedule an EMF healthy home assessment please contact me to make your appointment. Let’s Create Calm.