Low-frequency noise and vibration annoyance from industrial sources
Keywords:low-frequency noise, vibrations in buildings, annoyance
People annoyed in their homes by low-frequency noise and vibration are a small minority compared to those exposed to annoying noise in the conventional 20 - 20.000 Hz audio frequency range. However, the harmful effects of the former physical agents on people’s health and wellness are none but negligible; moreover, complaints due to low-frequency noise are easily misunderstood and, because of that, overlooked.
This paper presents a case study regarding some dwellings near an industrial plant emitting low-frequency noise and vibration, and, in doing so, deals with measurement techniques, difficulties and controversial aspects. The factual knowledge gained, which in this case led to the suggestion of taking action to address the issues met, also highlighted the need for future studies to be conducted in the laboratory and real-life situations to establish shared robust measurement methods and well-tested reference values.
ANSI/ASA S12.9/Part 7, Quantities and procedures for description and measurement of environmental sound; part 7: measurement of low-frequency noise and infrasound outdoors and in the presence of wind and indoors in occupied spaces, Melville, NY, 2016.
Berglund, B, Hassmén, P, Job, RFS, 1996, Sources and effects of low-frequency noise. J. Acust. Soc. Am., 99 (5), 2958-3002.
Broner, N, 2010, A simple criterion for low frequency noise emission assessment, Journal of Low Frequency Noise, Vibration and Active Control, 29 (1), 1-13.
DIN 45680, Messung und Bewertung tieffrequenter Geräuschimmissionen in der Nachbarschaft (Measurement and assessment of low-frequency noise immissions in the neighbourhood), Deutsches Institut fur Normung e.V., Berlin, 1997.
Downey, G, Parnell, J, “Assessing low frequency noise from industry; a practical approach”, 12th ICBEN Congress on Noise as a Public Health Problem, Zurich, 18-22, June 2017.
Griffin, MJ, Handbook of Human Vibration, Academic Press Ltd., London, 1996.
ISO 2631-1, Mechanical vibration and shock. Evaluation of human exposure to whole-body vibration. Part 1: General requirements, International Organization for Standardization, Geneva, 1997.
ISO 2631-2, Mechanical vibration and shock. Evaluation of human exposure to whole-body vibration. Part 2: Vibration in buildings (1 Hz to 80 Hz), International Organization for Standardization, Geneva, 2003.
ISO 226, Acoustics - Normal equal-loudness-level contours, International Organization for Standardization, , Geneva, 2003.
ISO 1996-2, Acoustics. Description, measurement and assessment of environmental noise. Part 2: determination of sound pressure levels, International Organization for Standardization, Geneva, 2017.
ISO 5348, Mechanical vibration and shock - Mechanical mounting of accelerometers, International Organization for Standardization, Geneva, 2021.
Kurakata, K, Mizunami, T, 2008, The statistical distribution of normal hearing threshold for low-frequency . Journal of low frequency noise, vibration and active control, 27 (2), 97-104.
Kurakata, K, Mizunami, T, Sato, H, Inukai, Y, 2008, Effect of Ageing on Hearing Thresholds in the Low, Journal of low frequency noise, vibration and active control, 27 (3), 175-184.
Leventhall, G, 2009, Low-frequency noise. What we know, what we do not know, and what we would like to know. Journal of low frequency noise, vibration and active control, 28 (2), 79-104.
Moeller, H, Lydolf, M, 2002, A questionnaire survey of complaints of infrasound and low frequency noise, Journal of low frequency noise, 21 (2), 53-64.
Moeller, H, Pedersen, CS, 2004, Hearing at low and infrasonic frequencies. Noise & Health, 6 (23), 37-57.
Moorhouse, A, Waddington, D, Adams, M, 2011, “Proposed criteria for the assessment of low-frequency noise disturbance”, Project report, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, UK.
NS 8176, Vibration and shock. Measurement of vibration in buildings from land-based transport, vibration classification and guidance to evaluation of effects on human beings, Standards Norway, Lysaker, 2017.
Peretti, A, “Valutazione del disturbo da vibrazioni negli edifici”, Proceedings of the AIA Seminar on Noise and vibration from building equipment and industrial plants, Ferrara, 157-168, June 2002.
Pedersen, CS, Moeller, H, Waye, KP, 2007, Indoor measurements of noise at low frequencies. Problems and solutions, Journal of Low Frequency Noise, Vibration and Active Control, 26 (4), 249-270.
UNI 9614, Misura delle vibrazioni negli edifici e criteri di valutazione del disturbo, Ente Italiano di Normazione Tecnica, Milano, 2017.
Watanabe, T, Moeller, H, 1990, Low frequency hearing thresholds in pressure field and free field. Journal of low frequency noise, vibration and active control 9 (3), 106-115.
Woodcock, J, Peris, E, Condie, J, Sica, G, Koziel, K, Evans, T, Moorhouse, A, Steele, A, & Waddington, D, 2011, Human Response to Vibration in Residential Environments (NANR209), Technical Report 6: Determination of exposure-response relationships, Defra (London).