24 May 2006

Teenagers' hearing at risk in alcohol-free discos

It's not just adults that risk their hearing in pubs and nightclubs. A study found excessive noise-levels at discos for under aged children, as well.

More than half of the employees in nightclubs experience some kind of hearing problem. In spite of this risk only a minority uses ear protection at work.

Based on research, Danish scientists issued warnings urging employees in nightclubs and other music venues to wear ear protection against of the continuous, excessive noise levels in their work environment.

“We are extremely serious about the hearing protection. When you walk around in 100 dB for up to five hours many days a week, you become hearing impaired,” Jan Gybel Jensen, an engineer from The Danish Factories Inspectorate told the Jydske Vestkysten newspaper. The Inspectorate measured noise levels at discoteques as part of the Government's programme against noise at the workplace.

Another study found even higher noise levels in alcohol-free discoteques for children and adults younger than the legal drinking age. Noise levels at alcohol-free parties for children from 4th through 8th grades clocked in at 105 dB.

Hearing protection

Hearing protection is recommended when constant noise levels exceed 85 dB, corresponding to the noise from a lawn mover. The noise levels found in the youth clubs approached the levels of large aircraft on take-off.

Even short periods of loud music can damage the hearing, and even if it is just a visit to a music club it is important to take good care of the hearing. A break from the music once in a while to let the ears relax is highly recommended.

Sources: “Disko-støj koster hørelsen” Jyske Vestkysten 5 April 2006.

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