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Hello, I am new to this forum. I test drove an 04 Prius and was so impressed that I am seriously considering purchasing one. However, after some careful thought, I had a serious question regarding the health of Prius owners (after several years or long term effects). What I am about to ask is, and I don't mean to offend any Prius owners, is, "can the Prius generate harmful electromagnetic radiation over time"? As an engineer, I know that electromagnetic energy is generated when either you have a powerful electric transmission or magnetic waves are generated. The Prius, from what I understand, has a HIGH voltage motor (the new 04 has now even more than the old one). Because the motor and engine are both located physically close to the person (say within 3-4 feet) of the firewall, and there is no "lead" protection walls that I know of in the vehicle, can this proximity be a hazard in the long term? I don't know if tests where done, but, I am wondering if this could be a health hazard. I am posting this one also in the technical to see if there is anyone who could answer this question. Thanks alot!
 

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If you are concerned with electric and magnetic dangers you can sure get a couple meters and get on down to a Toyota dealership with a demo car and have a look see. Better to take a couple simple measurements than to engage in idle speculation when it comes to concerns of personal safety.

Again the famous argument of the number of angels dancing on the head of a pin. Just get a lense and count 'em.

Microwave ovens leak measureable amounts of Microwave energy. Cell phones radiate RF directly at head level as do cordless phones. Computer monitors irradiate your body, especially your head. Many concerned citizens don't accept the US Government report that downplayed electromagnetic dangers from cell phones, walky-talkies, monitors, etc. Have you quantified these risks in your environment?

Radio Shack, for one, sells DIY microwave testers for testing your microwave for leakage. There are several commercial sources for meters to measure electromagnetic field strength. Larger metropolitan areas typically have equipment rental outfits where all the equipment you'd need can be rented. You'd only need the stuff for a couple hours. The testing itself is simple and with the help of a volunteer driver could be done in a few minutes.

There are Government published standards for short and long term exposure. You could compare your readings to those. If you don't trust the Government's standards, assume you must have even lower readings that they say is safe to be safe.

Let us know what you find out.

Pat
 

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Henry said:
I smell a troll. Long live derision!
How do you know? You admit the Prius emits ozone, a known source of olefactory damage.

Not derision, pragmatism.
Not derision, empiricism.
A very smart guy once said you can't control what you don't measure (or something vaguely kinda sorta similar.)

I only suggest that since idle speculaltion is of no real value and actual fact is not hard to obtain that some facts be obtained. The gentleman's safety question was legitimate. There are lots of sources of health endangerment that aren't properly dealt with but speculaltion is not likely to provide fact that could so easily be obtained by simple measurement.

Pat
 

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You're sitting in a 1200kg Faraday cage! If you're safe from lightning strikes in the passenger compartment, I'm pretty sure the bulkhead would do a reasonable job of shielding any stray em too. Also, there's no way the vehicle would have passed certification if it emitted any em that interfered with communications frequencies.
 

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clett said:
You're sitting in a 1200kg Faraday cage! If you're safe from lightning strikes in the passenger compartment, I'm pretty sure the bulkhead would do a reasonable job of shielding any stray em too. Also, there's no way the vehicle would have passed certification if it emitted any em that interfered with communications frequencies.
Right on Clett, untill they start making the firewall and other significant portions of the car out of non-conductive stuff like plastic composits or whatever, I'm not worried.

I had my tongue so firmly in cheek about the EM stuff, I don't think I was as clear as I would like to have been. I agree that it is unlikely that any goldfish you transport in a Prius will develop a third eye.

You are more likely endangering your health breathing in the new car smell (dangerous health destroying substances) than you are from EM.

About the Faraday cage automotive lightning protection thingy... The lightning protection of cars is over rated in folk lore. Protection is not complete due to the large number of large openings. Better to be in your car than standing beside the road during a lightning storm but cars are not completely safe.

:D Pat :D
 

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Health and Prius: Electromagnetism

I'm an engineer too. I've studied the issue of the potential health impact of electromagnetic radiation on humans -- and I must say that there is no way this car could generate anything near a toxic level.

It is true that some studies of this issue show that the body's immunization system can be adversely affected by electric fields and that some electric fields can raise the body temperature -- but the field levels used in these studies are far, far higher than the ones I believe to exist in the cabin of a Prius.

Fletch
 

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Fletch, Exactly my take, irrespective of someone buying a DIY piece of junk "meter" and claiming that the sky is falling. For me the jury is still out regarding cell phones (and my ham, marine, buisness band, and FRS/GMRS handie talkies) but remote antennas when possible and headsets reduce dosage.

Anyway, I'd be more concerned with holding a transmitter and its antenna against my temple for thousands of minurtes per month than driving a Prius. Anyway, I got BlueTooth and remote antenna so it isn't an issue for me personally.



:D Pat :D
 

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Dear Abby,

When I crank the magneto on my telephone, will my fingernails fall out? Please respond ASAP because I don't want to buy a new clipper if I won't need it.

Curious in Pennsylvania
 

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Henry, Indeterminate, you didn't state what portion of your anatomy you connected the output wires to,whether you crank CW or CCW, and your cadence, duration, number and frequency of reps.

:D Pat :D
 
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