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Department of Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology, Federal University of Agriculture, Nigeria
Submission: October 14, 2019; Published: November 06, 2019
*Corresponding author: Saganuwan Alhaji Saganuwan, Department of Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Federal University of Agriculture, P.M.B. 2373, Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria
How to cite this article: Saganuwan Alhaji Saganuwan. Median Lethal Dose (Ld50) Of Electric Current. Curr Trends Biomedical Eng & Biosci. 2019;
19(4): 556018.. DOI: 10.19080/CTBEB.2019.19.556018
Electric current constitutes potential hazards across the globe. In view of this, literatures were assessed for determination of lethal dose of electric current that would kill 50% of human (LD50), using cardiorespiratory pathological signs. The low LD50 value of electric current (36.5±21.3mA) and voltage (11.0±6.4 V) respectively, suggest very serious toxicity. The vital toxicity signs were paralysis of respiratory muscle and ventricular fibrillation. Hence, electric current should be avoided since it is severely hazardous.
Electrical related deaths are more frequent among school age children as a result of high voltage and lightning strike . Lightening, a transfer of an electrical charge, which results in discharge of static electricity, kills about 1000 people in the US every year . Lightening causes muscular spasm, neurosis, thrombosis, damage of blood vessels, unconsciousness, cardiac arrest, hypoxia, respiratory arrest and death . The types of lightning strikes are intracloud, cloud - to - ground and ground to cloud . The most important resistor to the flow of current from lightening electricity is skin . Estimated are 50,000 thunderstorms, 8 million lightning flashes , with mortality rate of 30%  and survival rate of 70% , affecting more people of less than 40years of age . The effect depends on the intensity of current, voltage, body exposure among others . A voltage of 30V can cause ventricular fibrillation. Electric shock is a sudden violent response to electric current, which may lead to death (electrocution). Let go phenomenon for high voltage (7600V) could be tolerated for 100 milliseconds or less . Lightning has been considered by some ethnic groups as myth, miracle and mirage , which is cruelty to animals, and may be caused by witches . In view of traditional beliefs and toxicity effects associated with lightning and electric current, there is need for acute toxicity study of electric current, with a view to determining the resistance threshold of lightning and electric current in humans and animals.
Ohm’s law states that current is equal to voltage over resistance. A mechanism of death in electric shock drowning as re
ported by Fish and Geddes  was used to determine the LD50 of lightening current and voltage [14-19]. Arithmetical method of up-and-down procedure was adopted for calculation of LD50 .
The results of median lethal dose for lightening current, voltage and resistance are presented in Table 1.
Estimated LD50 for current (36.5 ± 21.3mA) and voltage
(11.0 ± 6.4 V) show that electric current is very toxic indicating
that 100 mA can cause ventricular fibrillation, 20mA (respiratory
muscle paralysis), 16mA and 10mA contraction of extremities
[14,15]. More so, 606 electrical injuries and 21 deaths caused by
greater than 1000 volts have been reported in Canada . But
the reported resistance (2000-5000Ω) for lightning current can
be resisted by calloused dry hand that have more than 100,000Ω
with internal body resistance of 300Ω, suggesting low incidence
of human killings by lightening current. But the total body resistance
in water 300Ω and voltage (30V) can kill human . The
estimated power of lightening is between 10,000 and 200,000
A with estimated voltage of 20 million to 1 billion V . The
resistance to lightening current is from 25-1000 ohms on sweaty
palm to 1million ohms on dry calloused hand . Lightening figure
is a fractal positive electrical discharge reported in 30% of
cases . Using the above formula to calculate the resistance
(2x103-5x103Ω) developed by human against lightning, current
(104 - 2x107A) and voltage (2x107 - 1x109V)  denotes that
there is need for high resistance against the effects of lightning
current and voltage , since lightning had caused 45 fatalities
and unusual otolaryngitis [20,21]. But the lethality depends on
frequencies of thunderstorm sounds and energies .