Acoustic radiation from three commercial pest deterrents and two hair dryers were measured in an anechoic chamber. The deterrents were chosen because the frequency range at which they emit the most energy is either in the very high-frequency sound band (11.2–17.8 kHz) or the ultrasound band (greater than 17.8 kHz). These are sources that may be heard by a subset of the general population, with the young typically having better high frequency sensitivity. A hairdryer reported to increase the frequency of the motor noise above the audible hearing range was compared with a standard hairdryer. The outputs of the deterrents are compared against six international regulations and guidelines for audible and ultrasound exposure. Multiple ambiguities in the application of these guidelines are discussed. These ambiguities could lead to a device being considered as in compliance despite unconventionally high levels. Even if a device measured here meets a guideline, actual exposures can exceed those taken here and may therefore breach guidelines if the listener is closer to the device or reflections increase the exposure level.

1.
T. G.
Leighton
, “
Are some people suffering as a result of increasing mass exposure of the public to ultrasound in air?
,”
Proc. R. Soc. London A
472
,
20150624
(
2016
).
2.
ellipticlabs products, http://www.ellipticlabs.com/products/ (Last viewed 20 July
2017
).
3.
G.
Wilson
,
T.
Carter
,
S.
Subramanian
, and
S. A.
Brewster
, “
Perception of ultrasonic haptic feedback on the hand: Localisation and apparent motion
,” in
Proceedings of the 32nd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
(ACM, Toronto, Ontario, Canada),
1133
1142
(
2014
).
4.
T.
Carter
,
S. A.
Seah
,
B.
Long
,
B.
Drinkwater
, and
S.
Subramanian
, “
UltraHaptics: Multi-point mid-air haptic feedback for touch surfaces
,” in
Proceedings of the 26th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology
(ACM, St. Andrews, Scotland, UK),
505
514
(
2013
).
5.
S.
Jenni-Eiermann
,
D.
Heynen
, and
M.
Schaub
, “
Effect of an ultrasonic device on the behaviour and the stress hormone corticosterone in feral pigeons
,”
J. Pest Sci.
87
,
315
322
(
2014
).
6.
T. G.
Leighton
, “
Comment on ‘Are some people suffering as a result of increasing mass exposure of the public to ultrasound in air?,’ ”
Proc. R. Soc. London A
473
,
2060828
(
2017
).
7.
M. D.
Fletcher
,
S.
Lloyd Jones
,
P. R.
White
,
C. N.
Dolder
,
T. G.
Leighton
, and
B.
Lineton
, “
Effects of very high-frequency sound and ultrasound on humans. Part I: Adverse symptoms after exposure to audible very-high frequency sound
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
144
(
4
),
2511
2520
(
2018
).
8.
W. I.
Acton
and
M. B.
Carson
, “
Auditory and subjective effects of airborne noise from industrial ultrasonic sources
,”
Br. J. Ind. Med.
24
,
297
304
(
1967
).
9.
C. P.
Skillern
, “
Human response to measured sound pressure levels from ultrasonic devices
,”
AIHA J.
26
,
132
136
(
1965
).
10.
B. A.
Herman
and
D.
Powell
, “
Airborne ultrasound: Measurement and possible adverse effects
,”
US Department of Health and Human Resources, HHS Publication (FDA)
, No. 81-8163 (
1981
), pp.
1
12
.
11.
A.
Rodriguez Valentine
,
A.
Trinidad
,
J. R.
Garcia Berrocal
,
C.
Gorriz
, and
R.
Ramirez Camacho
, “
Extended high-frequency (9–20 kHz) audiometry reference thresholds in 645 healthy subjects
,”
Int. J. Audiol.
53
,
531
545
(
2014
).
12.
P. G.
Stelmachowicz
,
K. A.
Beauchaine
,
A.
Kalberer
, and
W.
Jesteadt
, “
Normative thresholds in the 8- to 20-kHz range as a function of age
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
86
,
1384
1391
(
1989
).
13.
D. M.
Green
,
Gerald
Kidd
, Jr.
, and
K. N.
Stevens
, “
High-frequency audiometric assessment of a young adult population
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
81
,
485
494
(
1987
).
14.
D.
Moore
,
L.
Hunter
, and
K.
Munro
, “
Benefits of extended high-frequency audiometry for everyone
,”
Hear J.
70
,
50
52
(
2017
).
15.
K.
Ashihara
,
K.
Kurakata
,
T.
Mizunami
, and
K.
Matsushita
, “
Hearing threshold for pure tones above 20 kHz
,”
Acoust. Sci. Technol.
27
,
12
19
(
2006
).
16.
K.
Ashihara
, “
Hearing thresholds for pure tones above 16 kHz (2007)
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
112
,
52
57
(
2007
).
17.
K. R.
Henry
and
G. A.
Fast
, “
Ultrahigh-frequency auditory thresholds in young adults: Reliable responses up to 24 kHz with a quasi-free-field technique
,”
Audiology
23
,
477
489
(
1984
).
18.
M. D.
Fletcher
,
S.
Lloyd Jones
,
P. R.
White
,
C. N.
Dolder
,
T. G.
Leighton
, and
B.
Lineton
, “
Effects of very high-frequency sound and ultrasound on humans. Part II: A double-blind randomized provocation study of inaudible 20-kHz ultrasound
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
144
(
4
),
2521
2531
(
2018
).
19.
B. W.
Lawton
, “
Exposure limits for airborne sound of very high frequency and ultrasonic frequency
,”
ISVR Technical Report No. 224
, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK (
2013
), pp.
1
16
.
20.
M.
Ueda
,
A.
Ota
, and
H.
Takahashi
, “
Investigation on high-frequency noise in public space
,” in
Inter.noise 2014
, Melbourne, Australia (
2014
).
21.
P.
Mapp
, “
Ultrasonic surveillance monitoring of PA systems, A safety feature of audible hazzard?
,”
Proc. IOA
38
,
1
16
(
2016
).
22.
M. D.
Fletcher
,
S.
Lloyd Jones
,
P. R.
White
,
C. N.
Dolder
,
B.
Lineton
, and
T. G.
Leighton
, “
Public exposure to ultrasound and very high-frequency sound in air
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
144
(
4
),
2554
2564
(
2018
).
23.
T.
Jenny
and
B. E.
Anderson
, “
Ultrasonic anechoic chamber qualification: Accounting for atmospheric absorption and transducer directivity
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
130
,
EL69
EL75
(
2011
).
24.
ISO, 3745:2012
:
Acoustics—Determination of Sound Power Levels and Sound Energy Levels of Noise Sources Using Sound Pressure—Precision Methods for Anechoic Rooms and Hemi-Anechoic Rooms
(
International Organization of Standards
,
Geneva, Switzerland
,
2012
).
25.
D. T.
Blackstock
, “
Radiation from a baffled piston
,” in
Fundamentals of Physical Acoustics
(
Wiley
,
New York
,
2000
), p.
451
.
26.
ISO, 9614-1:2009
:
Acoustics—Determination of Sound Power Levels of Noise Sources using Sound Intensity Part 1: Measurement at Discrete Points
(
International Organization of Standards
,
Geneva, Switzerland
,
2012
).
27.
ISO, 9614-3:2009
:
Acoustics—Determination of sound Power Levels of Noise Sources Using Sound Intensity Part 3: Precision Method for Measurement by Scanning
(
International Organization of Standards
Geneva, Switzerland
,
2009
).
28.
T. G.
Leighton
, “
What is ultrasound?
,”
Prog. Biophys. Mol. Biol.
91
,
3
83
(
2007
).
29.
Dyson
, “
Technology | Dyson SupersonicTM Hair Dryer
,” https://www.dyson.co.uk/hair-care/dyson-supersonic-technology.html (Last viewed 13 January
2018
).
30.
M. L.
Lenhardt
, “
Airborne ultrasonic standards for hearing protection
,” in
9th International Congress on Noise as a Public Health Problem (ICBEN)
(
2008
).
31.
OSHA
, “
OSHA technical manual, Section III: Chapter 5—Noise measurement
,” U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (
2015
).
32.
NIOSH
, “
Criteria for a recommended standard: Occupational noise exposure
,” U.S. Department of health and human services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Publication No. 98-126 (
1998
).
33.
European Parliament
, “
Directive 2003/10/EC on the minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to the risks arising from physical agents (noise)
,”
European Agency for Safety and Health at Work
(
2003
).
34.
ICNIRP
, “
Interim guidelines on limits of human exposure to airborne ultrasound
,”
Health Phys.
46
,
969
974
(
1984
).
35.
ISO 1999:2013
:
Acoustics—Estimation of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
(
International Organization of Standards
,
Geneva, Switzerland
,
2013
).
36.
ACGIH
, “
ACGIH threshold limit values (TLVs) and biological exposure indices (BEIs)
,”
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH)
, Cincinnati, OH (
2012
).
37.
C. Q.
Howard
,
C. H.
Hansen
, and
A. C.
Zander
, “
A review of current airborne ultrasound exposure limits
,”
J. Occup. Health Saf. Aust. New Zealand
21
,
253
257
(
2005
).
38.
British Standards Institution
, BS EN 61012-1998: Filters for the Measurement of Audible Sound in the Presence of Ultrasound (
1998
).
39.
British Standards Institution
, BS EN 61672-1: Electroacoustics—Sound Level Meters Part 1: Specifications (
2013
).
40.
M. R.
Stinson
and
B. W.
Lawton
, “
Specification of the geometry of the human ear canal for the prediction of sound-pressure level distribution
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
85
,
2492
2503
(
1989
).
41.
H. E.
Bass
,
L. C.
Sutherland
,
A. J.
Zuckerwar
,
D. T.
Blackstock
, and
D. M.
Hester
, “
Atmospheric absorption of sound: Further developments
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
97
,
680
683
(
1995
).
42.
H. E.
Bass
,
L. C.
Sutherland
,
A. J.
Zuckerwar
,
D. T.
Blackstock
, and
D. M.
Hester
, “
Erratum: Atmospheric absorption of sound: Further developments
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
99
,
1259
1259
(
1998
).
43.
Balcony Guard product page https://bird-x.com/bird-products/electronic/ultrasonic/balcony-gard/ (Last viewed 5 January
2018
).
You do not currently have access to this content.