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Adverse effects of very high-frequency sound and ultrasound on humans

Adverse effects of very high-frequency sound and ultrasound on humans
Adverse effects of very high-frequency sound and ultrasound on humans
For many years workers have reported adverse symptoms resulting from exposure to very high-frequency sound (VHFS) and ultrasound (US), including annoyance, dizziness and difficulty concentrating. Recent work showing the presence of a new generation of VHFS/US sources in public places has reopened the debate about whether adverse effects can be caused by exposure to VHFS/US. Our field measurements of VHF/US sources in public places have identified devices producing up to 100 dB SPL at 20 kHz. Nearly all of the sources measured, including those in places occupied by tens of millions of people each year, are likely to be clearly audible to many young people. We have conducted two studies. The first looked at adverse symptoms resulting from exposure to audible VHFS/US, and the second was a double-blind study of adverse symptoms resulting from exposure to inaudible VHFS/US. In each study, both symptomatic participants, who reported previously experiencing symptoms, and asymptomatics participants, who did not, were tested. We found evidence that symptoms were produced by exposure to audible VHFS/US but not by inaudible sound. It is possible that the substantial effects reported for inaudible VHFS/US exposure were not reproduced because of ethical restrictions on stimulus level and duration.
0001-4966
1
Fletcher, Mark D.
ac11588a-fafe-4dbb-8b3c-80a6ff030546
Lloyd Jones, Sian
0295b576-6de4-4d1d-b91a-96aee742fbcb
Dolder, Craig N.
b08350be-fd09-4049-95bd-06a9c157a8bc
White, Paul
2dd2477b-5aa9-42e2-9d19-0806d994eaba
Leighton, Timothy
3e5262ce-1d7d-42eb-b013-fcc5c286bbae
Lineton, Ben
1ace4e96-34da-4fc4-bc17-a1d82b2ba0e2
Fletcher, Mark D.
ac11588a-fafe-4dbb-8b3c-80a6ff030546
Lloyd Jones, Sian
0295b576-6de4-4d1d-b91a-96aee742fbcb
Dolder, Craig N.
b08350be-fd09-4049-95bd-06a9c157a8bc
White, Paul
2dd2477b-5aa9-42e2-9d19-0806d994eaba
Leighton, Timothy
3e5262ce-1d7d-42eb-b013-fcc5c286bbae
Lineton, Ben
1ace4e96-34da-4fc4-bc17-a1d82b2ba0e2

Fletcher, Mark D., Lloyd Jones, Sian, Dolder, Craig N., White, Paul, Leighton, Timothy and Lineton, Ben (2018) Adverse effects of very high-frequency sound and ultrasound on humans. The Journal of The Acoustical Society of America, 143 (3), 1, [1864]. (doi:10.1121/1.5036113).

Record type: Meeting abstract

Abstract

For many years workers have reported adverse symptoms resulting from exposure to very high-frequency sound (VHFS) and ultrasound (US), including annoyance, dizziness and difficulty concentrating. Recent work showing the presence of a new generation of VHFS/US sources in public places has reopened the debate about whether adverse effects can be caused by exposure to VHFS/US. Our field measurements of VHF/US sources in public places have identified devices producing up to 100 dB SPL at 20 kHz. Nearly all of the sources measured, including those in places occupied by tens of millions of people each year, are likely to be clearly audible to many young people. We have conducted two studies. The first looked at adverse symptoms resulting from exposure to audible VHFS/US, and the second was a double-blind study of adverse symptoms resulting from exposure to inaudible VHFS/US. In each study, both symptomatic participants, who reported previously experiencing symptoms, and asymptomatics participants, who did not, were tested. We found evidence that symptoms were produced by exposure to audible VHFS/US but not by inaudible sound. It is possible that the substantial effects reported for inaudible VHFS/US exposure were not reproduced because of ethical restrictions on stimulus level and duration.

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Published date: April 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 420895
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/420895
ISSN: 0001-4966
PURE UUID: c532b2be-8173-4d6e-ad57-e8b1d6812227
ORCID for Craig N. Dolder: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0817-326X
ORCID for Paul White: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4787-8713
ORCID for Timothy Leighton: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1649-8750

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 18 May 2018 16:30
Last modified: 07 May 2020 00:36

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Contributors

Author: Sian Lloyd Jones
Author: Craig N. Dolder ORCID iD
Author: Paul White ORCID iD
Author: Ben Lineton

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