09 October 2007

Ears of disco goers to be protected

Many young people suffer hearing damage from loud music at concerts and in discos. The Swiss Bundesrat wants to do something about it and is changing the sound and laser regulations.

Switzerland's lawmakers in the Bundesrat want better protection of the ears and eyes of disco guests. New sound and laser regulations were put in force as of 1 May, 2007. The new regulations require that the audience is informed about the sound levels and the health risks they are exposed to, and they must be offered hearing protection.

The general maximum noise levels remain at between 93dB and 100dB. The general maximum noise level is 93dB in any given hour, but shows as loud as 96-100dB are permissible as long as they are registered in advance.

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Free earplugs and rest areas

Free earplugs must be available for the audience at the highest noise levels, and the noise levels must be recorded and supervised. At events of more than three hours' duration, the venue must offer an area with noise levels not exceeding 85dB. Electronic recordings of the sound levels must be kept for 30 days and must be made available in cases of claims for compensation.

At disco parties for children under the age of 16 years noise levels must not exceed 93dB.

Concert noise and laser regulations have been enforced in Switzerland since 1996.

Source: espace.ch and NZZ Online

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