The China Post staff

Taiwan is leading the world in combating low frequency noise, or infrasound, as one of the problems to be solved this July, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) announced yesterday. The EPA pointed out that the low frequency sound, often emitted from electronic appliances such as cooling towers and air conditioning units, refers to sound frequencies under 200 megahertz. Infrasound does not demonstrate any visible affect on the human body physically. However, EPA stated that prolonged exposure under these noises will affect people’s sleep and psychological well-being. In some cases, it might lead to neurasthenia or even depression.

Starting July, EPA will implement regulations on low frequency noise. After the execution of the law, commercial or resident areas that do not comply with regulations will receive a fine ranging from NT$3,000 to NT$30,000. Businesses even run the risk of being shut down if their equipment do no meet the standards specified by the EPA. According to the regulation proposed by EPA, zones with both commercial and residential buildings cannot have noise levels above 40 decibels. In residential areas, the noise level must be contained within 30 decibels.

The EPA stated that other leading countries such as Germany, Denmark, and Japan have only begun to propose such regulations. If passed, Taiwan will be the first country in the world to issue a mandatory regulation on infrasound. The EPA urged the public to conduct testing on their electronic appliances to see if they are up to par with the proposed regulations before the implementation of the law.