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Goldsmiths - University of London

Sanitary Soundscapes: the noise effects from ultra-rapid “ecological” hand dryers on vulnerable subgroups in publicly accessible toilets

Drever, John L.. 2013. 'Sanitary Soundscapes: the noise effects from ultra-rapid “ecological” hand dryers on vulnerable subgroups in publicly accessible toilets'. In: AIA-DAGA 2013, the joint Conference on Acoustics, European Acoustics Association Euroregio, 39th annual congress of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Akustik and the 40th annual congress of the Associazione Italiana di Acustica. Marano, Italy. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

A review of the issues arising from a preliminary study of the noise effects of ultra-rapid “ecological” hand dryers in publicly accessible toilets. They are very popular due to impressive data on efficiency, effectiveness, hygiene and speed, the corollary is an increase in noise levels in this socially sensitive environment. The study comprised of a sound power test, followed up by in situ sound pressure tests in a range of different sized WCs. The most extreme example showed for one dryer in situ the equivalent Leq of 19 dryers in a free field environment. From communication on discussion lists and interviews it appears that the noise effects are impacting on a wide range of vulnerable subgroups: breast-feeding mothers, infants and children, dementia sufferers, the visually impaired, hearing aid users and most seriously the discomfort on those with hyperacusis – a condition that is common for those on the autistic spectrum. This study functions as a microcosm for soundscape issues in the urban environment resulting in social exclusion for vulnerable subgroups. To communicate these issues to designers, policy makers and the pubic at large the project was followed up by the devising and presenting a number of sound art works.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)

Keywords:

Hand Dryer Noise

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Music > Unit for Sound Practice Research

Dates:

DateEvent
20 March 2013["eprint_fieldopt_dates_date_type_shown" not defined]

Event Location:

Marano, Italy

Item ID:

8653

Date Deposited:

19 Jul 2013 07:54

Last Modified:

30 Jun 2017 09:33

URI: http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/8653

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