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The website Earthing [Warning: auto-playing video] sells earthing mats. The site states:

Throughout history, humans walked barefoot and slept on the ground. But modern lifestyle [(shoes, beds, and living indoors)] has disconnected us from the Earth's energy. Fascinating new research [indicates that this disconnect from Earth's soil] may actually contribute to chronic pain, fatigue, and poor sleep that plague so many people.

If you watch the 2-minute introductory video on the site, you will see that the product is being marketed as a way to receive energy (electrical charge) from the Earth by connecting your body to the Earth's soil through the electrical ground-bus of your home's AC power system - so called "earth grounding" of your body. It states "when you make direct contact with the earth, your body receives a charge of energy" which the site claims is good for your health.

My question: Do these products really work as claimed?

And if so, are they guaranteed to be safe to use?

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migrated from electronics.stackexchange.com Aug 30 at 16:50

This question came from our site for electronics and electrical engineering professionals, students, and enthusiasts.

    
I've removed the existing answers so they can be fixed to respect our standards. To the answerers: sorry! Please flag your answer once you fix it. –  Sklivvz Aug 30 at 17:32
    
@Sklivvz May I suggest that third party studies on the existence of unspecified "energy flows" could be in order as well. There is an effect of the "no original research" policy that makes it very hard to address new pseudo-scientific claims (that is to say, usually old claims dressed up in new language). Alas, I have no suggestions what might be done about it. –  dmckee Aug 30 at 23:32
    
@dmckee it's easy to reference safety via quality standards bodies (eg IMQ). Regarding efficacy, it's hard to say, but it's possible there are studies on earthing. I see this as no different from a question on any other pseudoscientific phenomenon. –  Sklivvz Aug 31 at 2:35
    
Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. –  Sklivvz Aug 31 at 16:05
    
I've contacted the website and asked for electrical safety certification info. There's some research on the medical effect (follow through the chat link). –  Sklivvz Sep 1 at 8:17

1 Answer 1

Safety

Consumer products are guaranteed to be safe if they have the appropriate certifications.

Since they show no certifications on their site, for example on their product page or on the FAQ, I've asked their customer support and this is their response.

enter image description here

Which is, in my opinion, quite suspicious, because on their website they claim:

All the authorized Earthing products are specifically designed for safe, biological grounding of people. They have a built-in resistor that limits the flow of current in order to prevent the unlikely possibility that electricity would flow through the connecting wire and possibly hurt someone.

Either their product is electrical, and they need to provide certification, or it isn't, and then it should not need a resistor and other systems to prevent getting electrocuted.

Of course, do take notice that while you have to trust that I received that answer and I am being honest, you can check for yourself by using their contact form.

Given the self-admitted absence of certifications to guarantee their claimed safeties are adequate (or present!), I consider it better to default to a caution position:

In theory, assuming wiring is done right the ground prong will contact the ground terminal in the outlet and that terminal is connected to the ground with a thick enough wire and touching it is as safe as touching a washer or fridge chassis.

However you should not do that ever, because Murphy is out there...

http://diy.stackexchange.com/questions/13402/is-it-safe-to-touch-the-ground-contact

Fact, which, incidentally, is repeated on the web site (except, to convince they are different and safe).

In conclusion, there are no provided international guarantees that it is safe. However the company contends they are not needed. Use your best judgement.

Effectiveness

That is the focus of another question: it's disputed.

Also see Grounding & human health – a review, I A Jamieson, S S Jamieson, H M ApSimon and J N B Bell, for a meta review which shows inconclusive results.

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