Last update: December 13, 2017

ICBEN Congress June 18-22, 2017 Zurich

Case Report: Cross-Sensitisation to infrasound and low frequency noise

“Exposed to residential infrasound and low frequency noise due coal mining activities, the subjects reacted suddenly, strongly and unexpectedly to pressure pulses generated by a wind farm located at a different town, approximately 160 km by road from their residence.”

Mrs T’s physiological responses
Mrs T’s physiological responses between 5 and 6 pm

By Bruce Rapley1, Huub Bakker2, Mariana Alves-Pereira3, Rachel Summers4

1 Atkinson & Rapley Consulting, Ltd. Palmerston North, New Zealand (corresponding author)
2 School of Engineering and Advanced Technology, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
3 School of Economic Sciences and Organizations (ECEO), Lusófona University, Lisbon, Portugal
4 School of People, Environment and Planning, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Corresponding author's e-mail address: arg@paradise.net.nz

Abstract

This Case Report describes an episode experienced by two noise-sensitised individuals during a field trip.

Exposed to residential infrasound and low frequency noise due coal mining activities, the subjects reacted suddenly, strongly and unexpectedly to pressure pulses generated by a wind farm located at a different town, approximately 160 km by road from their residence.

Simultaneous physiological data obtained in one subject and subjective sensations occurring during the episode are reported. Acoustical evaluations of the location of the episode are also reported.

The possibility of a nocebo effect as an etiological factor for their bodily reactions is cogently eliminated.

The degree of cross-sensitisation to acoustical phenomenon depends on prior exposure histories, and on the temporal characteristics of the acoustical phenomenon.

Background

Many families residing in the vicinity of coal mining operations in New South Wales, Australia, report adverse health effects in response to infrasound and low frequency noise (ILFN). Mr & Mrs T and their children moved to this area in December 2009.

Subsequent to significant health deterioration in all members of the family, noise measurement equipment was installed in the T home starting in 2015, and infrasound and low frequency components were monitored on a 24-hr basis for several months.

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