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Project communiqué "assessment and safety of non-audible sound"

During the last 3 years the project EARS investigated perception mechanisms of infrasound and airborne ultrasound by the aid of objective methods from audiology and neural imaging to improve the rationale and evidence base for assessing sound exposure within these frequency ranges. This communiqué will summarize most of the important results and conclusions for a presentation to the public. The intention is to contribute to and expand the available knowledge in this field although the project team is well aware of the many tasks and problems and questions still in need of further research.

You can download the communiqué Opens internal link in current windowhere ...

Communiqué signed

There are numerous indicators that infrasound and airborne ultrasound emission influences human beings and that sound at such frequencies can be perceived. However at present, the precise mechanisms of sound perception at these frequencies are unknown and this lack in understanding is reflected by the disappointing status of existing regulations, standards and safety. The participants of the workshop Metrology for the perception of non-audible sound held in Berlin from 16 to 17 of April 2015 signed this communiqué.

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New UK working group on the Health Effects of Ultrasound in Air established

The Institute of Sound and Vibration Research at Southampton University and the National Physical Laboratory have established a UK working group to set out the current concerns and focus attention on the Health Effects of Ultrasound in Air (HEFUA). The first meeting was held at NPL on 3rd March, chaired by Prof. Tim Leighton of ISVR, and a preliminary Opens external link in new windowHEFUA website is also now online.
This working group has been set up in response to growing concern over the health impacts of the numerous new sources appearing in general urban environment, and follows work conducted in parallel with the EARS project to establish new measurement standards for airborne ultrasound, and investigate human neural responses to such sounds.

Successful Workshop in Berlin

Workshop: Metrology for the perception of non-audible sound

From 16th to 17th of April participants from 6 different countries met to discuss the results of the project EARS and to show own contributions in talks and on posters. Three invited talks and two round table discussions gave an ample possibility for scientific exchange among the 33 participants.

Download a short report on the Workshop Opens internal link in current windowhere ...

6th and last Project Meeting

The final meeting of the EARS project was held on April 21/22 2015 in Istanbul. Twelve participants met for two days to report the final results, to close the project and to discuss future challenges.

Successful Workshop in London

The development of a universal ear simulator and its application in hearing screening and assessment.

The cornerstone of the dissemination activities in the EARS project are two workshops covering distinct aspects of the project scope, on the development of the universal ear simulator, and on the perception of non-audible sound.

The first of these took place at the National Physical Laboratory on 26th March 2015 and covered the development of the universal ear simulator. The workshop had 28 attendees from clinical audiology, medical physics, national health services, audiological equipment manufacturers, calibration laboratories and NMIs outside of the consortium. Attendees came from UK, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.

Download the workshop report Opens internal link in current windowhere ...

The 6th Newsletter is available

The EARS project arrives at its final stage and we are pleased to present the sixth newsletter to you. Another time the project work has made serious progress and results were obtained which significantly promote knowledge and technology in the addressed fields. We invite you to read about several aspects of the work which are presented within this newsletter.
Following an intensive development phase ultrasonic transducers which allowed the determination of hearing thresholds for airborne ultrasound could be produced. In parallel the investigation of perception mechanisms at infrasound frequencies continued with an fMRI study. This process was accompanied by measuring the middle ear transfer of the same test persons using otoacoustic emissions. The second version of the universal ear simulator prototype was manufactured and calibration techniques were developed and tested. Thus, all prerequisites for first clinical trials, which are under way, have been created.

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News in brief

Airborne ultrasound hearing threshold:

Our hearing threshold measurements link the existing normative threshold data to values in the higher audible frequency range (14-24 kHz). The thresholds are intended for stimulus calibration in subsequent brain imaging investigations... [read more]

Equal loudness contours at infrasound frequencies:

Equal loudness contours (ELC) in phon were derived from individual loudness functions measured from 30 subjects using the method of loudness scaling by means of categories. The resulting ELCs link the existing normative loudness contour data to values in the lower audible frequency range (20 Hz to 125 Hz) and even down to values in the infrasound region (8 Hz to 20 Hz). [read more]



Infrasound hearing threshold:

The performed hearing threshold measurements link the existing threshold values to values in the lower audible frequency range (20 Hz to 125 Hz) and even to threshold values in the so called “inaudible” infrasound region (2.5 Hz to 20 Hz)... [read more]

Occluded ear simulators:

Determination of the dimensions - Following the design approach, the present step consists in matching the acoustic input impedance to that of average real ears for each of the five age groups. This condition is satisfied by imposing the appropriate acoustic impedance near the microphone location... [read more]

Ultrasound sources:

Ultrasonic  equipment,  can  cause  very  loud noise. High-frequency airborne ultrasound was measured up to 100 kHz on a solid metrological basis for the first time, and different assessment quantities were determined quantitatively... [read more]

More news in brief here ...


Newsletter No.6

Newsletter No.5

Newsletter No.4

Newsletter No.3

Newsletter No.2

Newsletter No.1

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