Effects of Ultrasonic Noise on the Human Body—A Bibliographic Review

Central Institute for Labour Protection - National Research Institute, Poland. .
International journal of occupational safety and ergonomics: JOSE (Impact Factor: 0.35). 06/2013; 19(2):195-202. DOI: 10.1080/10803548.2013.11076978
Source: PubMed


Industrial noise in the working environment has adverse effects on human hearing; literature and private studies confirm that. It has been determined that significant changes in the hearing threshold level occur in the high frequency audiometry, i.e., in the 8-20 kHz frequency range. Therefore, it is important to determine the effect of ultrasonic noise (10-40 kHz) on the human body in the working environment. This review describes hearing and nonhearing effects (thermal effects, subjective symptoms and functional changes) of the exposure to noise emitted by ultrasound devices. Many countries have standard health exposure limits to prevent effects of the exposure to ultrasonic noise in the working environment.

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    ABSTRACT: Today, we shall examine briefly the question - what are the "effects of air-bone ultrasound on humans?" The question is generated by conflicting points of view presented in some recent public utterance on this subject. Some of these statements ascribe to air-borne ultrasound, a capacity to induce remarkably dramatic effects in humans. Apparently, twenty years have wrought little change in our understanding of the effects on man of air-borne ultrasound Our attention shall focus, primarily, on man's work environments, but we shall consider a very little history before examining sources of air-borne ultrasound, the properties of the propagation medium and the paths by which air-borne ultrasound enters the human body. Finally, we shall attempt to assess and state the significance of the effects of environmental, air-borne ultrasound on man at work. © 1966 Informa UK Ltd All rights reserved: reproduction in whole or part not permitted.
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this case-control study was to determine whether long-term ultrasonic noise exposure via the dental office environment is related to dental hygienists' hearing status. Registered dental hygienists (N = 698) who live in the Hampton Roads areas of Virginia were mailed a Dental Hygiene Work History Questionnaire to determine who would meet the inclusion criteria and would be willing to participate in the study. Consenting subjects were categorized into one of two groups, according to ultrasonic scaler usage rate, and matched on age. Persons with known hearing loss due to infection, disease, or congenital defect were excluded from the study. The final sample consisted of 20 dental hygienists with a high ultrasonic usage rate and a matched group of 20 dental hygienists who had a low ultrasonic usage rate. Once the groups were formed, a certified audiologist tested subjects' hearing in each ear via the pure-tone audiometer. Audiometric data were analyzed using the analysis of variance for repeated measures procedure to determine if degree of ultrasonic scaler noise exposure in the dental office environment was significantly related to hearing status in these dental hygienists. Results revealed that the right and left ears were not statistically different in the hearing threshold levels, regardless of group status. However, there was a significant difference in the high ultrasonic usage group and the low ultrasonic usage group at the 3000 Hz. No differences were found at the frequencies of 500, 1000, 2000, 4000, 6000, and 8000 Hz. Based on these outcomes, the ultrasonic scaler is not considered to have a negative effect on the hearing of dental hygienists at 500, 1000, 2000, 4000, 6000, and 8000 Hz, but may be related to hearing loss at 3000 Hz. Ultrasonic noise may in fact be affecting dental hygienists' hearing at 3000 Hz, but loss of hearing observed at the higher frequencies may be attributed to other unidentified factors present in both groups.
    Journal of dental hygiene: JDH / American Dental Hygienists' Association 02/2002; 76(4):262-9.
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