Some science behind the scenes
Intensity, duration and distance
The intensity of the stimulation, its duration and if the stimulation is from external sources, its distance from the person’s head, all have an impact upon what happens functionally and biologically.
The length of exposure to the stimulation
Irreversible biological effects of low intensity exposure only occur after medium to long duration or cyclical exposure. High intensity stimulation, however, can produce harmful effects even at short exposure.
Infrasound: The hidden annoyance of Industrial Wind Turbines - Professor C. Renard
During the Seventies, many studies were carried out by army physiologists to find out how long it was possible to stay in a tank where the level of infrasound is in the region of 20 Pa, in the engine room of a ship where there can be levels exceeding 100 Pa at 5 to 20 Hz, and in a space capsule where the level is between 400 and 600 Pa at 1 to 20 Hz. Their problem was in fact to know how long military personnel could carry out their duties under these conditions. The results were kept secret.
In 1976, Von Gierke put forward a limit of 20 Pa between 1 and 20 Hz below which a human being could be exposed for 24 hours without harmful effects. In fact, those who live near waterfalls or by the sea, where levels of infrasound can vary from 1 to several Pascals, can confirm this.
It would seem that infrasonic noise that does not contain particular frequencies (white noise) is easier to tolerate.
It is clear that there is wide scope for further research, which we would like the appropriate government ministries to initiate. In addition, research on the effects of infrasound on animals needs to be carried out.
….vibroacoustic disease, is caused by exposure to low frequency sound waves over long periods of time. According to Alves-Pereira and colleagues (2007), the clinical symptoms of vibroacoustic disease (in people) are:
Stage 1- slight mood swings, indigestion and heartburn, mouth or throat infections and bronchitis.
Stage 2- chest pain, definite mood swings, back pain, fatigue, fungal, viral and parasitic infections, inflammation of the stomach lining, pain and blood in urine, conjunctivitis and allergies.
Stage 3- psychiatric disturbances, small nose bleeds, varicose veins and haemorrhoids, duodenal ulcers, spastic colitis, decrease in visual acuity, headaches, severe joint pain, intense muscular pain and neurological disturbances. In experiments done on rats, low frequency sound has been shown to cause severe trauma to the cells lining the respiratory tract (Oliveira et al., 2001) and the delicate brush cells lining the respiratory tract fuse together.
Remember that although I have included observations here that apply to sound, the same sorts of observations apply to electromagnetic energy, and other forms of energy.
The distance of the organism from the source of radiation also has an effect . Even stimulation of high intensity loses power as it moves from the source [known as attenuation].
Infrasound: The hidden annoyance of Industrial Wind Turbines - Professor C. Renard
The amplitude of a longitudinal wave decreases as it gets farther away from its source, inversely to the distance D (in metres) travelled. This is divergence attenuation (the wave is spherical). A decay exponential for fading must be added to this attenuation, with the distance D multiplied by a coefficient specific to the medium and proportional to the square of the frequency N. …………….
Infrasound propagates over considerable distances and will therefore be affected by slow variations in the physical parameters of the medium. For example, in an adiabatic atmosphere where the temperature drops by 9.8° Celsius for every 1,000 m of altitude, an infrasonic ray emitted horizontally will curve up towards the zenith and will be capable of going over an obstacle of one metre at a distance of 316 m from its source, or an obstacle 10 m high at a distance of 1,000 m. It could also go over a hill 100 m high situated at a distance of 3.16 km.
Generally speaking, infrasonic rays move upwards until they reach an altitude where they encounter either a temperature gradient which inverts (inversion zone) or a wind gradient. In both instances, the ray path will curve downwards towards the ground (or the sea), where it can be reflected very easily despite the vegetation (or the waves), and gradually rebound.
In this way, infrasound is guided far away from its source, which explains why, for example, the explosion of Mount St. Helens (USA) on 19th May 1980 was felt all over the world. It is also the way in which elephants are able to communicate with each other over tens of kilometres thanks to the temperature inversion zone that forms from sunset to sunrise.
Thus infrasound can be perceived at great intensity even when it is far from the source.
The intensity of the signal
- Low intensity signals, tend to invoke the function and can even be beneficial stimulating functions which might have lain dormant. Low intensity doses, for example, appear to stimulate cells to generate healing processes.
Most of the beneficial effects in terms of healing thus appear to be achieved at very very low intensities in some cases extremely low and almost imperceptible.
Naturally occurring electromagnetic radiation, for example, is normally of low to very low intensity. Living organisms have been adapted to tolerate only these low ‘natural’ intensities of electromagnetic radiation. We are electrical beings and it may be we only live because of the tiny pulses of so called ‘earth energies’ that travel through us. We are powered by the earth!!! Pulsed low intensity fields have been found to be especially beneficial.
Application of the pulsed low-frequency electrostatic field in the early rehabilitative treatment of patients following surgery for the correction of valgus deformation of the first toe. - Razumov AN Li AA, Kotenko KV, Korchazhkina NB, Orekhova EM, Kazantsev AB, Li EA.
This paper describes the method and results of application of the pulsed low-frequency electrostatic field (PLFESF) to the lower extremities of the patients who underwent surgical treatment for the correction of valgus deformation of the first toe. The efficiency of the method used in the early period of rehabilitative treatment was estimated at 93.3% compared with 96.7% in the patients who were managed by the same therapy in combination with polyoxdonium.
- High intensity radiation produces harmful effects irrespective of the frequency, causing cells either to die or to reproduce in a runaway action which can cause, for example, cancers. High intensity signals of short duration tend to knock the function out acting like a sort of temporary damaging device. Long term signals of high intensity may cause severe damage to cells and nerve and muscle cell malfunction.
- High intensity high frequency radiation for example causes heating [as in a microwave] and causes cell damage or death of cells.
- High intensity low frequency radiation causes acceleration of ‘metabolic’ processes [cell healing, multiplication and growth] and can cause such diseases as cancer.
High intensity signals always produce damage, however long the duration
The following shows this to be true of electromagnetic radiation.
Hardell L. Sage C. Biological effects from electromagnetic field exposure and public exposure standards. Biomed Pharmacother. 2008, Feb; 62(2):104-9.
During recent years there has been increasing public concern on potential health risks from power-frequency fields (extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields; ELF) and from radiofrequency/microwave radiation emissions (RF) from wireless communications. Non-thermal (low-intensity) biological effects have not been considered for regulation of microwave exposure, although numerous scientific reports indicate such effects.
The BioInitiative Report is based on an international research and public policy initiative to give an overview of what is known of biological effects that occur at low intensity electromagnetic fields (EMFs) exposure. Health endpoints reported to be associated with ELF and/or RF include childhood leukaemia, brain tumours, genotoxic effects, neurological effects and neurodegenerative diseases, immune system deregulation, allergic and inflammatory responses, breast cancer, miscarriage and some cardiovascular effects.
The BioInitiative Report concluded that a reasonable suspicion of risk exists based on clear evidence of bioeffects at environmentally relevant levels, which, with prolonged exposures may reasonably be presumed to result in health impacts. Regarding ELF a new lower public safety limit for habitable space adjacent to all new or upgraded power lines and for all other new constructions should be applied. A new lower limit should also be used for existing habitable space for children and/or women who are pregnant. A precautionary limit should be adopted for outdoor, cumulative RF exposure and for cumulative indoor RF fields with considerably lower limits than existing guidelines, see the BioInitiative Report.
The current guidelines for the US and European microwave exposure from mobile phones, for the brain are 1.6 W/Kg and 2 W/Kg, respectively. Since use of mobile phones is associated with an increased risk for brain tumour after 10 years, a new biologically based guideline is warranted. Other health impacts associated with exposure to electromagnetic fields not summarized here may be found in the BioInitiative Report 2012.
The next observation shows it to be true of mechanical vibration…………….
Balichiyeva DV. Vibration in parental occupation as a risk factor in the health and development of offspring. Reprod Toxicol; 1993 Sep-Oct;7(5):492-3
The results of this research are based on a complex evaluation of labor conditions of workers in a number of vibration exposed occupations (machinists, excavators, operators of drilling wells, bulldozer operators, embroiderers in tambour shops, weavers, and others) based on sociologic studies of 923 persons (including 532 men and 371 women), clinical and experimental data (1,119 white rats), and mathematical modeling methods.
Special features of the effect of vibration on the reproductive system are apparent: in men, suppression of sex function is noted, and there is an increase in the frequency of spontaneous abortion in women who are not in contact with vibration as a result of genome changes in the male reproductive cells; in the women there was an increase in the frequency of menstrual disorders, swelling of the walls of the vagina and uterus, spontaneous abortion, toxicosis of both halves of pregnancy, and stillbirths.
The adverse effects of vibration on the offspring are transmitted through both the female and the male parents. A high frequency of deviations in anthropometric indices is noted, as well as infant death and sickness in children at an early age. It was established that vibration-exposed occupations in one or both parents significantly increases the risk for the offspring according to the indices indicated above …..
Penkov A. Influence of occupational vibration on the female reproductive system and function.
Akush Ginekol (Sofiia). 2007; 46(3):44-8. [Akusherstvo i ginekologiia]
The relevant literature on the effects of occupational vibration was analyzed in order to obtain information concerning a possibly health risk on the female reproductive organs. Vibration exposure can probably contribute to the pathogenesis of disorders of female reproductive organs (decrease in uterine blood flow, menstrual disturbances, and anomalies of position) and disturbances of pregnancy (abortions, stillbirths). Experimental animal studies on the reproduction function suggest harmful effects on the fetus, and dystrophic and morphological changes in the uterus and ovaries in animals.
And the following shows it to be true of acoustic vibration. In effect, whatever the stimulation if it is high intensity it damages.
From Infrasound Toxicology Summary, 2001:
"When male volunteers were exposed to simulated industrial infrasound of 5 and 10 Hz and levels of 100 and 135 dB for 15 minutes, feeling of fatigue, apathy, and depression, pressure in the ears, loss of concentration, drowsiness, and vibration of internal organs were reported. In addition, effects were found in the central nervous system, the cardiovascular system, and the respiratory system.
Synchronization phenomena were enhanced in the left hemisphere. Visual motor responses to stimuli were prolonged, and the strength of effector response was reduced. Heart rate was increased during the initial minutes of exposure. Depression of the encephalic hemodynamics with decreased venous flow from the skull cavity and was observed.
Heart muscle contraction strength was reduced. Respiration rate was significantly reduced after the first minute of exposure."
Karpova et al.,1970.
Oliveira MJ, Pereira AS, Castelo Branco NA, Grande NR, Aguas AP. In utero and postnatal exposure of Wistar rats to low frequency/high intensity noise depletes the tracheal epithelium of ciliated cells. Lung. 2001; 179(4):225-32.
Chronic exposure of men or rodents to low frequency/high intensity (LFHI) noise causes a number of systemic changes that make up the so-called vibroacoustic disease (VAD), a disorder that includes alterations of the respiratory system, namely, of its epithelial layer.
We have investigated here the susceptibility of the tracheal epithelium of Wistar rats to in utero and postnatal exposure to LFHI noise by comparing its ultrastructure with that of the tracheal epithelium of control rats and of animals exposed to LFHI noise only after reaching adulthood (8 weeks of age).
Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) of the inner surface of rat trachea was used to determine the relative areas covered by ciliated and non-ciliated cells. In rats that were exposed in utero and postnatally to LFHI noise, we observed that out of 100 microm(2) of tracheal epithelium only 31 +/- 14 microm(2) were covered by cilia, whereas in control rats; ciliated cells occupied an average of 60 +/- 18 microm(2) out of 100 microm(2) of the epithelium; this difference between the two groups was statistically significant (p <0.05). In rats that were exposed to LFHI noise only after reaching adulthood, cilia covered 55 +/- 22 microm(2) out of 100 microm(2) of the luminal surface of the trachea, a value that, although lower than that of controls, was not found to be statistically different. We conclude that
(1) the tracheal ciliated cells are damaged by exposure of rats to LFHI noise if the animals are kept under this environmental aggression during in utero and postnatal periods;
(2) tracheal ciliated cells from adult rats are more resistant to the deleterious effects of LFHI noise than pleura or lung alveolar cells that were shown before to undergo marked changes upon chronic exposure of rats to LFHI noise.
These findings suggest a note of caution regarding pregnant women and young children: they should be prevented from areas where LFHI noise occurs, namely, in aircraft and textile industries where this type of environmental hazard is often present.
- Medium intensity - There is some degree of tolerance in intensity of the signal at near natural levels. Thus an intensity which is slightly higher than the organism has been designed to stand can be tolerated for short to medium periods of time. Over a longer period of exposure, however, damage will eventually accrue. Disease and death – of cells, tissue etc. will result.
If we imagine the function as having a sort of sliding scale of activity we can see that high intensity produces extremes of function. For example:
The function covers happiness and sadness and all its extremes of emotion with a sort of slider on the scale to turn up or turn down the volume depending on the intensity of the stimulation. At either end of the scale you have overdose proportions – full activity, whereas in between normal proportions – partial activity – reducing down to tiny little - homeopathic amounts – produces gradually smaller amounts of activity until everything balances out and you get nothing – no activity either way.
If we use as an example the various functions of the emotions, any increase in the intensity of the stimulus will produce an increase in the frequency of the neuron’s signal and thus change the functionality of each emotion. Depending on where we started in the overall function, we could go one way or the other …
Some activities like happiness do us no harm when we overactivate them temporarily. If we agonistically over-activate the activity of pleasure, we will get total bliss. If we over-activate the function that gives us happiness or sadness, however, we could be driven into a morass of depression or a tumult of euphoria depending on whether the trigger is antagonistic or agonistic. Being euphoric once in a while may be quite nice. But there are obviously also some activities that if we over activate them they can cause us as much harm as if they were blocked.
If external agents are introduced into our body that have unbalanced us, or we ourselves have somehow through what we have done produced an imbalance, all we may need to get us up and running again is a tiny tiny little jog in the right direction – a homeopathic dose. This is how homeopathy works and the substance may be an agonist or an antagonist – it depends on what activity we want triggering. In the example above with overactivation of cell reproduction, we would want to add a small dose of antagonist.
My granny [my Dad’s Mum] was a homeopathist and she used arsenic and all sorts of apparently poisonous substances to treat my dad and all his brothers and sisters when he was young. Sickness to her was a sign that one function was either over activated, or under-activated, so you had to give it a tiny kick in the opposite direction to get it in balance. One truly minute dose was usually enough. For granny, no natural substance was a poison, at the wrong dose it certainly could be, but all substances by their agonist or antagonistic action had their uses.
You should also be able to see that frequent use of any of these mechanisms carries the very real additional risk that you set a sort of pendulum of imbalance swinging. Because you are upsetting the balance, you need to let your system get back into balance again. People do not become schizophrenics from taking a drug, they become schizophrenics from using it so often they unbalance the system on a permanent basis.
This is so key I think I need to repeat it. Unbalancing your system this way is inherently risky. If you do it frequently you stand a real chance of being unbalanced permanently – really sick.
The word ‘unhinged’ is beautifully graphic in describing this – our little balancing pendulum just swings this way and that in violent uncontrollable bursts. Mood and health swings!
The importance of low intensity to health
‘Illness’ is a function not a bodily condition. Illness may be a result of emotional trauma. All illness may be initially a function, which is followed later by actual bodily symptoms.
Pain is a function.
There may be other functions such as feelings of heat and cold, that then trigger the bodily functions of shivering and perspiring. There is as far as illness is concerned therefore a complex network of functions which like all the emotions sometimes have a final physical manifestation.
To talk of diseases as psychosomatic, therefore, wholly misses the point. All illness is ‘psychosomatic’ because all illness is triggered by function whether it is the function of a virus or the function of an emotion.
If we look at the correlation between stimuli, emotion and illness, for example, very low intensity, short duration pulsed stimuli heal, whereas long duration, high intensity constant stimuli damage. Dr Bose did similar tests on plants and found the same sort of effects.
Sir Jagadis Chunder Bose – His Life and Speeches
Dr Bose explained how the effect of a given agent – a chemical solution or an electric current – is profoundly modified by the dose; a given intensity producing one effect, and a different intensity giving rise to an effect diametrically opposite. This is the reason for the inexplicable anomalies that have baffled many investigators. Numerous are the forces which act on growth, some helping, others retarding, the effects being further modified by the strength and duration of application. These factors that determine growth are each to be studied in detail, and the laws of effect of each to be discovered.
We see the same effects in homeopathic medicine, tiny doses, truly tiny doses of certain chemicals can heal, but larger doses can kill – arsenic for example is used in homeopathy. We have a common pattern here, therefore in action and effect.
High intensity can cause illness, normal intensity has no effect, very very low intensity may heal.
Infrasound: The hidden annoyance of Industrial Wind Turbines - Professor C. Renard
It was a Frenchman, V. Gavreau, who, during the Sixties, first reported human health problems caused by exposure to infrasound. The symptoms resembled seasickness, accompanied by headache, nausea, and dizziness which led to “deep nervous fatigue.” He was also the first to mention eye problems and the impossibility of concentrating on a task.
In the Seventies, a Dane, P.V. Brüel, manufacturer of acoustic metrology equipment, showed that symptoms were felt after only 5 minutes of exposure to infrasound of an amplitude of 1 Pa and a frequency of 12 Hz. He also demonstrated by measurements taken in an estate car travelling at a speed of 100 km/h that the level of infrasound which was almost constantly at 1 Pa between 4 and 16 Hz contributed to “car sickness.”
In addition, P.V. Brüel carried out some very interesting measurements of the level of infrasound on the top floor of a sixteen-floor high-rise block when there was a fairly strong wind blowing. The infrasound reached 6 Pa at 1 Hz and dropped to 0.2 Pa at 16 Hz. The signal spectrum showed resonances at 4 Hz (2 Pa), 8 Hz (1 Pa) and 12 Hz (0.4 Pa).
In the USA in 1975, D.L. Johnson defined the threshold levels above which people feel unwell :
0.2 Pa at 20 Hz
0.6 Pa at 10 Hz
2 Pa at 5 Hz
20 Pa at 2 Hz
60 Pa at 1 Hz
In Japan in 1991, H.Takigawa reported that infrasound of 1 Pa between 3 and 7 Hz had an influence on the vestibule of the ear and lead to ocular reflexes (nystagmus), spinal reflexes (tremors), and autonomic reflexes (dyspnoea).
In 1991, the Russian, B. Fraiman, noted the effect of infrasound of 2 Pa on blood pressure, which confirmed the problems of diastolic pressure mentioned in 1974 by Borredon (1 Pa = the pressure of a column of water 10 cm high).
For iPad/iPhone users: tap letter twice to get list of items.
- Bose, Sir Jagadis Chandra - The correlation between stimuli, emotion and illness
- Characteristics of infrasound and its influence on workers in working environment of certain thermoelectricity works and department
- Disease and illness from aviation noise
- Effect of low-frequency but high-intensity noise exposure on swine brain blood barrier permeability and its mechanism of injury
- Infrasound by sea causing illness
- Responses of the ear to low frequency sounds, infrasound and wind turbines
- Théodule-Armand Ribot - Intensity and Duration
- Wind Turbine Noise and Health Effects