Teen repellant causes controversy

April 24th, 2008 by | Permalink

A unique device designed to prevent teenagers from loitering is causing quite a stir. The “Mosquito” emits a high pitch frequency that only teenagers and young adults can hear. Does it work on younger children, too? Seems like a great way to get our kids out of the house and outside to play…

The high-frequency sound has been likened to fingernails dragged across a chalkboard or a pesky mosquito buzzing in your ear. It can be heard by most people in their teens and early 20s who still have sensitive hair cells in their inner ears. Whether you can hear the noise depends on how much your hearing has deteriorated — how loud you blast your iPod, for example, could potentially affect your ability to detect it.

The device has already roiled civil liberties groups in countries where it’s already in use, including England, Australia and Scotland. England’s government-appointed Children’s Commission proposed a ban. They describe it as a weapon that infringes on the basic rights of young people, and claim it could even have unknown long-term health effects.

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