Could pacemakers be affected by hybrid car high voltage radiation?

Discussion in 'VW, Audi, Porsche hybrid and EV forum: general' started by voltron, Oct 25, 2014.

  1. voltron

    voltron Administrator and Defender of the Universe Staff Member

    A relative recently got a pacemaker and can no longer arc weld, use a weed wacker, or chainsaw because these devices emit high voltage near your chest which would affect the operation of the pacemaker.

    If you look in any hybrid car, you'll see those big orange cables which are the high voltage cables. Normal cars don't have these because they operate off 12 volt systems. 12 volt systems are dangerous if you get zapped but I don't drive around with a tin foil hat. As one example, the Prius operates on a 273 volt system which is enough to send small levels of electro magnetic interference into the cabin.

    A quick google search showed that the Prius didn't emit enough radiation to affect a pacemaker but this finding only applies to a specific car model and specific model of pacemaker. Some hybrid or EV may emit more EMI and some pacemakers may be more affected by EMI interference than others.

    This also doesn't apply to those servicing the cars. When you work under the hood, your chest is right next to the high voltage lines. As long as the car is off I don't see why these would be emitting EMI but I'm not an expert on EMF (electro magnetic fields)/EMI and pacemakers either.

    The only thing I can find is a study in which the Mayo Clinic found that "patients with implanted cardiac devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators can safely drive or ride in an electric car without risk of electromagnetic interference (EMI)". However, they tested ONLY a 2012 Prius. How can they extend that statement to all hybrids? Why did they state "electric car" when they only tested a hybrid and not an electric car?

    Perhaps there should be some updated and more comprehensive studies on this?

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