Noise Monitoring at Coal Seam Gas Mining in Qld Reveals Damaging Infrasound

Queensland Department of Health Report: Coal Seam Gas in the Tara Region
Summary risk assessment of health complaints and environmental monitoring data -
March 2013

Section 4.2.2

The level of annoyance from low frequency noise depends on the level and duration of the noise and also on non-acoustical factors such as the individual’s noise sensitivity, fear with respect to the source, attitude towards the source and perceived control over the situation (van Kempen, Staatsen and van Kamp, 2005). Other health related effects of low frequency noise include stress, irritation, unease, fatigue, headache, possible nausea and disturbed sleep (Casella Stanger, 2001). Sensitisation to low frequency noise often occurs over time, resulting in the person becoming more aware of the noise and not being able to shut it out or get used to it. Other people may not be able to hear the low frequency noise as it may be close to or below their threshold of hearing and/or its importance may be underestimated (Moorhouse, Waddington and Adams, 2005). Berglund, Lindvall and Schwela (1999) noted that ‘a large proportion of low frequency components in noise may increase considerably the adverse effects on health’.

The noise monitoring undertaken by DEHP was at just one location in the Wieambilla Estate, but it identified periods where the difference between the C-weighted and A-weighted sound levels exceeded 20 dB. This indicates that low frequency noise may be a problem.

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