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 Table of Contents  
LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 162

Is enough attention paid to the health effects of low-frequency noise in today's society?


1 Department of Occupational Health Engineering, School of Health, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
2 Mariana Alves-Pereira, Universidade Lusófona, Lisbon, Portugal
3 école d'orthophonie et d'audiologie, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Date of Submission30-May-2021
Date of Acceptance31-Jan-2022
Date of Web Publication26-Dec-2022

Correspondence Address:
Siamak Pourabdiana
Department of Occupational Health Engineering, School of Health, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Hezar Jarib St, Isfahan
Iran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijpvm.ijpvm_233_21

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How to cite this article:
Forouharmajda F, Asadya H, Pereirab MA, Fuentec A, Pourabdiana S. Is enough attention paid to the health effects of low-frequency noise in today's society?. Int J Prev Med 2022;13:162

How to cite this URL:
Forouharmajda F, Asadya H, Pereirab MA, Fuentec A, Pourabdiana S. Is enough attention paid to the health effects of low-frequency noise in today's society?. Int J Prev Med [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Jan 31];13:162. Available from: https://www.ijpvmjournal.net/text.asp?2022/13/1/162/365564



Low-frequency noise (LFN) is recognized as an environmental problem by the World Health Organization.[1] LFN is emitted within the range of 20 to 500* Hz by a variety of sources such as heating, cooling, and ventilation systems for buildings; compressors; motorized vehicles; and wind turbines. Traffic noise, which is rich in LFN components, was ranked second among the selected environmental stressors, evaluated in terms of their public health impact in European countries.[1],[2],[3]

Exposure to infrasonic (<20 Hz) and lower frequency airborne pressure waves can cause cellular and tissue damage depending on frequency, dB-level, and exposure time, while the viscoelastic properties inherent to biological tissues impart a nonlinear response to this type of acoustic stressor.[4] Widespread vascular involvement was observed in palpebral and bulbar conjunctiva and retina, gastric mucosa, liver structures, lungs, pleura and tracheae, alveoli, pericardia, and coronary arteries. The whole-body response also elicits the immune system, affects organs of the reproductive system, changes receptor cells in the vestibular semicanals and auditory cochlea, and induces genotoxic effects, including teratogenesis.[5]

At present, Infrasound and LFN (ILFN) are agents of disease that go unchecked. Vibroacoustic disease is a whole-body pathology that develops in individuals excessively exposed to ILFN. In exposure to LFN, significant problems such as depression and mental dysfunction are seen in 3% to 5% more than prevalence in general population. Other problems observed following exposure to low-frequency sound include an increase in heart rate and potentially related problems. People chronically exposed to this type of sound can develop significant health problems. Although there are thousands of articles on the relationship between hearing loss and speech intelligibility, it should be noted that not many studies have been done on the relationship between LFN exposure* and hearing loss.

Another serious consequence of ILFN exposure is the onset of mental stress, which can significantly affect all organs of the body and, more importantly, can have a considerably negative effect on the immune system. Feelings of discomfort, agitation, and restlessness when exposed to LFN have been observed in other patients, which causes people to have difficulty in daily work and job performance. Known symptoms of ILFN include sleep disorders in various types, including changes in the quality and quantity of sleep.[6] Researchers continue to investigate the destructive effects of ILFN on human body tissues. The most important point in dealing with ILFN is the possibility of detrimental interference with biological structures (not limited to the biological structures addressed * herein). However, more studies are needed to examine how ILFN affects body tissues from a biological and pathobiological point of view.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Environmental Noise Guidelines. 2018. ISBN 9789289053563.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Leventhall HG. Low frequency noise and annoyance. Noise Health 2004;6:59-72.  Back to cited text no. 2
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3.
Alves JA, Silva LT, Remoaldo P. How can low-frequency noise exposure interact with the well-being of a population? Some results from a portuguese municipality. Appl Sci 2019;9:5566.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Alves-Pereira M, Rapley B, Bakker HHC, Summers R. Acoustics and biological structures. In: Abiddine ZE, Ogam E, editors. Acoustics of Materials. London: IntechOpen; 2019.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Alves-Pereira M, Castelo Branco NA. Vibroacoustic disease: Biological effects of infrasound and low-frequency noise explained by mechanotransduction cellular signaling. Prog Biophys Mol Biol 2006;93:256–79.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Alves JA, Paiva FN, Silva LT, Remoaldo P. Low-frequency noise and its main effects on human health—A review of the literature between 2016 and 2019. Appl Sci 2020;10:5205.  Back to cited text no. 6
    




 

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