Data are presented which show that infrasound up to 120 db levels is encountered in road and rail transportation, and that even higher levels are to be found in ships' engine rooms and in helicopters. The literature of laboratory work on the effects or infrasound provides some rather inconclusive reports of performance deterioration and balance disturbance in the range of intensities reported in vehicles. Evidence is also presented of sensations of euphoria and lethargy. Parallels are drawn between the lethargy produced by infrasound and rotary motion, and also the similarity between infrasound and high intensity audible noise in impairing relaxation time and vigilance respectively. It is reported that some individuals who report sensitivity to balance disturbance also show an unusual sensitivity to infrasound. In total these effects suggest that infrasound may well have an adverse affect on the performance of drivers. In this respect it probably adds to the already known influences of noise, motion, heat and fatigue, and in this way it may be a factor in some accidents. The magnitude of the role of infrasound in relation to the other factors mentioned is, at the moment, quite impossible to evaluate and further research is clearly needed to decide whether it is significant or entirely trivial. /TRRL/

  • Corporate Authors:

    Academic Press Incorporated

    24-28 Oval Road
    London NW1 7DX,   England 
  • Authors:
    • TEMPEST, W
  • Publication Date: 1976


  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00157377
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL)
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Monograph
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 31 1977 12:00AM