October 24, 2005, Germany:
”Driver’s test” for DJ’s
German DJs are being offered a special ”driver’s test”. Educating them about the dangers of excessively loud music is part of the battle against hearing damage affecting an ever increasing number of young people.
More and more youngsters suffer hearing damage. Frequent visits to night club with thumping music is one of the reasons, and the German night club industry has decided to support the efforts to limit excessive leisure time noise exposure.
”The ever increasing number of hearing injuries among children and young adults caused by leisure time noise is a cause of deep concern. We need a change in attitude in many areas of social life,” explained Henning Franz, chairman of the German disc jockey association (Berufsverband Discjockey).
Back to school
Taking the DJs’ driver’s license is voluntary.
Participating DJs receive instruction in a number of areas such as acoustics, technology and the hazards of loud music. The seminar concludes in a written test.
”The courses were put together by experts from the technical university in Berlin, together with researchers into the effects of noise,” said Stephan Büttner, a lawyer and manager of the disc jockey association.
In addition to the noise training, German DJs will be supported by noise monitoring equipment displaying the dance floor noise levels. The indicators show how many dB of noise is enveloping the dancers on the floor, alerting the DJ when the music noise reaches dangerous levels.
The first DJs received their licenses in November 2004 in Stuttgart. More have taken the test since then.
It is believed that one young German in four suffer from hearing damage, and that fully one third of today’s youngsters will need hearing aids by the time they reach just 50 years of age.
More than the loud music at discos damages their hearing. Hours and hours of listening to music on Discmans and MP3 players are among many other significant causes.
Sources: Berufsverband Discjockey, www.bvd-ev.de, Allgemeine Hotel und Gaststätten-Zeitung, www.ahgz.de