Wednesday, January 05, 2011

The fan-death story won't go away

Years ago, I found on wikipedia an article on Fan-death that quoted a professor at my university.  I interviewed him and found he didn't really say all those things he said but I think the audio-recording website has since disappeared.   Anyway, here are some articles I wrote about fan-death.

Today, XKCD put up a comic about common misconceptions and provided a link to wikipedia's list of common misconceptions. It includes:
"In South Korea, it is commonly believed that sleeping in a closed room with an electric fan running can be fatal in the summer. According to the Korean government, "In some cases, a fan turned on too long can cause death from suffocationhypothermia, or fire from overheating." The Korea Consumer Protection Board issued a consumer safety alert recommending that electric fans be set on timers, direction changed and doors left open. Belief in fan death is common even among knowledgeable medical professionals in Korea. According to Dr. Yeon Dong-su, dean of Kwandong University's medical school, "If it is completely sealed, then in the current of an electric fan, the temperature can drop low enough to cause a person to die of hypothermia."[80][81][82][83] Although an airconditioner transfers heat from the air and cools it, a fan moves air to increase the evaporation of sweat. Due to energy losses, a fan will slowly heat a room."

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