Within the framework of the research project, our interdisciplinary consortium with Prof. Krahé, the psychologists from ZEUS and the medical scientists from the DLR on behalf of the German Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt, UBA) investigated the noise impact of infrasound immissions between 2015 and 2019. The study was designed to be independent of actually existing infrasound sources; i.e. we wanted to investigate the impact of infrasound immissions that have a general effect on people in quiet living situations and to consider the psychological and physiological effects of infrasound on people. The project closed a gap in knowledge for the level range of infrasound relevant for immission control, with non-weighted levels of 85 to 120 dB, i.e. the range around the human perception threshold of infrasound. This was necessary also because infrasound is a relatively new topic in immission control and is constantly evolving as a result of various technical and political developments.
In order to ensure the practical relevance of the project, the special acoustic properties of infrasound immissions from actually existing sources were simulated as a boundary condition, and test persons were exposed to these acoustic properties under controlled laboratory conditions. This concerns both the controlled laboratory situation (normal and very quiet living situation without disturbances) and the characteristic frequency and time response of technical sources. As a result, it was found that infrasound at or below the perception threshold does not lead to any immediate bodily reactions.
The final report of the research project was published at the UBA and can be viewed here.