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Exposure to High-Frequency Sound and Ultrasound in Public Places: Examples from Zurich, Switzerland

Scholkmann Data Analysis Services, Scientific Consulting and Physical Engineering, Stapferstrasse 8, 8006 Zurich, Switzerland
Acoustics 2019, 1(4), 816-824; https://doi.org/10.3390/acoustics1040048
Received: 5 August 2019 / Revised: 9 October 2019 / Accepted: 16 October 2019 / Published: 18 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Room Acoustics)
The public is unknowingly exposed to very high-frequency sound (VHFS; 11.2–17.8 kHz) and ultrasound (US; >17.8 kHz) signals in air in public places, as evidenced by previously published reports. The present report provides evidence for the presence of VHFS/US signals in the air at public places in Zurich, Switzerland. The analysis of the signals measured revealed that they: (i) contain one, two or multiple frequencies; (ii) comprise frequencies ranged from 15.5 kHz to 36.0 kHz; (iii) were either quasi constant in their amplitude or exhibit a clear amplitude modulation; and (iv) were in their characteristics (frequencies, modulation, intensity) specific for each place. Based on the signal characteristic it is likely that the signals are generated by public-address voice-alarm (PAVA) systems. The work presented: (i) documents the presence of VHFS/US signals at public places in Zurich, possibly caused by PAVA systems; and should (ii) show that is easily possibly to measure the signals with an affordable measurement equipment as a “citizen scientist”, and stimulate others also to measure and analyse VHFS/US signals with this citizen scientist approach in other cities worldwide. Due to the possible negative health-related effects of a human exposure to VHFS/US signals, further research is needed to document VHFS/US signals at public places and to evaluate biological effects of this exposure with laboratory studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: High-frequency sound; ultrasound; very high frequency/ultrasonic (VHF/US); public-address voice-alarm (PAVA) systems; public sound exposure High-frequency sound; ultrasound; very high frequency/ultrasonic (VHF/US); public-address voice-alarm (PAVA) systems; public sound exposure
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MDPI and ACS Style

Scholkmann, F. Exposure to High-Frequency Sound and Ultrasound in Public Places: Examples from Zurich, Switzerland. Acoustics 2019, 1, 816-824. https://doi.org/10.3390/acoustics1040048

AMA Style

Scholkmann F. Exposure to High-Frequency Sound and Ultrasound in Public Places: Examples from Zurich, Switzerland. Acoustics. 2019; 1(4):816-824. https://doi.org/10.3390/acoustics1040048

Chicago/Turabian Style

Scholkmann, Felix. 2019. "Exposure to High-Frequency Sound and Ultrasound in Public Places: Examples from Zurich, Switzerland" Acoustics 1, no. 4: 816-824. https://doi.org/10.3390/acoustics1040048

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