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Minimum fatal temperature

  1. Feb 18, 2008 #1
    What are the miminum temperatures that any part of your body would have to be exposed to in order for you to definetly, 100% chance freeze or burn to death?/die as a result of?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 18, 2008 #2


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    Gold Member

    For how long?
    Temperatue of what? Air? Water?
    How much of their body?
    Who is the subject? What is their mass? Medical history?

    People have been exposed to -200C temperatures and lived - if it was just their hand and just for a few seconds.

    C'mon - there is absolutely no way to answer this question without a great deal more input.
  4. Feb 18, 2008 #3

    jim mcnamara

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    Staff: Mentor

    You need to rephrase your question.

    You will die from prolonged unprotected exposure to ~110F at 100% RH because your core temp will rise due to the fact that sweating does not cool the skin, for example. People die in saunas or steam baths like this all the time. They stay too long, overheat and die.

    What exactly are you after?

    Anybody can come up with:
    burn to death: unprotected whole body @5000F for 30 seconds
    freeze solid: unprotected whole body @-450F for 30 seconds

    You could have your hand in 5000F for 30 seconds and still survive - minus a hand. It would cauterize. Ditto hand in liquid nitrogen for 30 seconds. If you contained bleeding after your hand cracked off.
  5. Feb 20, 2008 #4
    What level of whole body radiation exposure/poisioning will kill you?
  6. Feb 20, 2008 #5

    Andy Resnick

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    Science Advisor
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    The LD 50/30 dose (50% mortality after 30 days) is 3-4 Sv. The LD 100/7 dose is 10-50 Sv.

    For comparison,

    1 year in Houston = 0.001 Sv
    8-day space shuttle flight = 0.0053 Sv
    5 month stay on MIR = 0.16 Sv
    Trip to Moon = 0.011 Sv
    Trip to Mars (flight) = 0.5 Sv/yr, surface stay = 0.12 Sv/yr
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