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Table 1 Characteristics of individual human studies

From: Biological effects of exposure to static electric fields in humans and vertebrates: a systematic review

Author, year Exposed body part (number of subjects) Exposure Endpoints Outcome Remarks
Barron and Dreher [28] whole-body
(n = 10)
static EF of 1 kV/m alone (? or combined with air ions?) for approximately 1 h physiological/health-related effects:
blood parameters; respiration rate; pulse; blood pressure; brightness detection; reaction times; field awareness; muscular steadiness
no significant effect also air ions tested; not clear if peer-reviewed, all subjects were pilots
Blondin et al. [29] whole-body
(n = 48)
static EF of <10 to 50 kV/m alone or in combination with air ions; 7–11 s per trial (several 100 trials during 1 day) field perception median perception threshold 45.1 kV/m without ions; high ion densities lowered the median threshold to 36.9 kV/m  
Chapman et al. [30] arm
(n = 16)
static EF of 30 to 65 kV/m; 7–11 s per trial (several 80 trials during 1 day) field perception subjects did not perceive static EF also AC EF
Clairmont et al. [31] whole-body static EF of −40 to 40 kV/m alone or combined with different AC EF field perception perception threshold of static EF 10–20 kV/m; simultaneous AC EF lowered the threshold main focus was technical
Haupt and Nolfi [35] whole-body
(n = 438)
static EF of approx. −16 to 21 kV/m and static MF of 22 μT of a HVDC line for at least 5 years physiological/health-related effects:
self-reported health issues (e.g., headache, depression, allergies, illness days)
no significant effect cross-sectional epidemiological study
Odagiri-Shimizu and Shimizu [34] human arm (n = 10–30 per condition) static EF up to 450 kV/m with variable humidity field perception average perception threshold approx. 250 kV/m at 90% relative humidity and approx. 375 kV/m at 50% relative humidity; awareness decreased threshold and shaving of the arm made it impossible to detect the field up to 450 kV/m  
Oftedal et al. [32] whole-body (n = 20) static and AC EF and MF generated by visual display monitors, exposure for 2 weeks during work (at least 3 days/week, 2 h/day); average static EF of 2 kV/m without filter physiological/health-related effects:
self-reported skin symptoms
no significant effect active and inactive filters nearly diminished static EF, but AC EF was only diminished by active filter; cross-over design
Skulberg et al. [33] whole-body
(n = 120)
static and AC EF generated by visual display monitors, without antistatic measure (VDU treatment with ionic liquid) static EF up to 95 kV/m, median value up to 0.23 kV/m; mean exposure duration 6 h/day physiological/health-related effects:
self-reported skin symptoms; general health symptoms; behavioral tests
skin symptoms could be reduced; no significant effect regarding general symptoms and behavior