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Ultrasound and infrasound: health effects - GOV.UK

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Ultrasound and infrasound: health effects

Ultrasound has been used in medical practice throughout the world for at least 50 years.

Published 1 August 2014
Public Health England

Ultrasound is used for diagnostic scanning, ultrasound therapy and the ablation or destruction of unwanted tissues.

There are also a number of industrial applications of ultrasound technology – most notably sonochemistry, emulsification, welding, cleaning and non-destructive testing.

Diagnostic ultrasound, used widely in managing pregnancy, is the application that most people are familiar with.

Infrasound is created by various natural sources, such as earthquakes, thunderstorms, wind and waves. Comparable oscillary changes in air pressure may be experienced when running. Artificial sources of infrasound include explosions, compressors, low speed fans, wind turbines, trains and building sway.


Read the Health Protection Agency’s, now Public Health England, response to the AGNIR report (RCE-14) on health effects to ultrasound and infrasound.

  1. Ultrasound: what it is, how it works and the impact of exposure
    • 1 February 2012
    • Guidance
  2. Ultrasound and infrasound: health effects from exposure
    • 1 February 2010
    • Research and analysis
  3. Ultrasound and infrasound: HPA response to AGNIR report (RCE-14)
    • 2 February 2010
    • Research and analysis
Published 1 August 2014

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