Effect of Noise during Pregnancy upon Foetal and Subsequent Adult Behavior

  • Lester W. Sontag


It is certainly most appropriate that the sonic boom of supersonic jets be considered as an environmental intrusion. Had we been concerned with this problem 40 years ago, I am sure that the human fetus would not have been given much consideration as a human being. At that time, to an unbelievable degree, the fetus was considered to be immune from any but the most severe of stresses. It was known that syphilis in the host mother could be transmitted to the fetus with resulting congenital syphilis. A report of fetal rickets (1) observed by a missionary during a severe famine in China was in the literature. Anophthalmia (2) and cleft palate have been reported in newborn pigs whose mothers were sustained on a vitamin free diet. There were various other fragments of evidence or suggestions in the literature of environmental factors which could have deleterious effects on the fetus. By and large, however, the unborn child was considered to be immune from the variety of stresses which were known to have damaging effects later in life upon the health and development of a young infant. Investigations in recent years have revealed a variety of relationships between the behavior, health and development of the offspring of both human mothers and laboratory animals and a variety of stresses during pregnancy.


Fetal Heart Rate Audiogenic Seizure Congenital Syphilis Sonic Boom Fetal Activity 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lester W. Sontag
    • 1
  1. 1.The Fells Research InstituteYellow SpringsUSA

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