Periodic noise

taken from – published 2011-07-15

Periodic noise – both in the audible and in the infrasonic range

The periodic noise (both in the audible range and in the infrasonic range) is considerable at a distance of 600 meters and extends depending on the wind conditions up to two kilometers.

Prof. Mausfeld – Source: Freewiki

The responsible authorities refer to the Technical Instructions on Noise Protection (TA Lärm), which does not take into consieration the periodic effects of noise at all.

The sound pressure (ie in the volume) of periodic noise is far below the limits of the TA Lärm, but the stress effect does  not lie in the volume but in the periodicity.

Periodic noise is therefore to be regarded as a particular stressor, because it interferes with internal processes.

Neural processes and in particular processes in the brain are based essentially on a temporal coding (with very different time parameters).

External periodic signals can therefore lead to interference with these processes and disturb them (these are obviously not recorded at all in the the limits of the TA Lärm). Our body has almost no protection mechanisms available against that, as strictly periodic noise does not occur in nature and thus was evolutionarily insignificant.

In the Short term it is not a problem for the organism, but the long-term effects are in urgent need of investigation and attention.

This is similar to the so-called “water torture.” If you occasionally get a few drops of water on the head, it does not bother you. However, it is unbearable to get a drop of water on your head periodically over a long period.

Because lay people usualy don’t know how much neural processes are based on a temporal coding, they usually underestimate the seriousness of the effect of periodic stressors.

The new problem for stress research is the minimal effects involved, which can accumulate to cause real damage only through continuous exposure.The difficulty of recognizing this, helps also to ensure that it is so difficult to explain to outsiders that there really is a problem because of short-term performance everyone is convinced that this can not be that bad.

Another psychological problem, which is not addressed at all during a brief experiment on uninvolved persons, is the inescapability of the situation.

Someone whose home lies within the range of influence of a wind turbine, knows that he has absolutely no chance to escape these things, not even when he withdraws into his house.

This sense of inescapability of the situation, which cannot be simulated in the lab, leads to an affective assessment of the situation, which reinforces the negative effects of stressors yet again. It has demonstrated in animal experiments that the induction of inescapability leads to a complete depression of the animal. A large part of the stress associated with wind turbines, it leads to mental processing situation, which is a permanent burden on the organism and thus may indirectly lead to health problems.

The effect lies in a  permanent and slightly increased stress situation, which may increase existing medical problems – such as cardiovascular problems.

Periodic noise becomes a major problem for those affected and is possibly linked to serious health effects.

Text parts are taken from a paper by:
Prof. Dr. Rainer Mausfeld, Uni Kiel, Dept. Psychologie

Translation: Marco Bernardi with the friendly assistance of Gail Atkinson-Mair