Hearing Aids—Van der Graaff generator

Hearing Aids—Van der Graaff generator: Can you tell me if hearing aids should be included in the electronic equipment that could be affected by a Van der Graaff generator?

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Publication Date: 17 February 2016
Asked By: Anonymous
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Hearing Aids- Van der Graaff generator


Yes, hearing aids should be included.

It is recommended to keep any electronic devices away from an operating Van de Graaff generator because the sparks produced (even if only small) can damage the electronic circuits. This applies to anything that has an electronic chip or circuit board including: cell phones, cameras, watches, computers, hearing aids and USB storage devices.

In addition to the risk of damage to the hearing aid itself, there is also the risk of the hearing aid emitting a high-intensity noise if used near a running Van de Graaff generator. This could result in hearing damage.


Lamont James. Technical Officer– Electrical Engineering, Deakin University. February 2016. Personal communication

‘Van de Graaff generator safety’ Institute of Physics website, https://spark.iop.org/van-de-graaff-generator-safety (Link updated April 2022)

‘Van de Graaff Generator Safety’ Storm Highway website, https://stormhighway.com/graaffsafety.php (Accessed February 2016)

by ASTA (Admin) on 10 October 2022

Science ASSIST has created a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the use of a Van de Graff generator in schools which can be found through the follow link:


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