12 January 2011

Young Aussies get noise overdose

Many young Aussies are exposed to dangerously loud music. The noise exceeds what is allowed on building sites and one in three is unaware that hearing loss is permanent.

Research has identified an alarming number of young Australians who are exposed to noise in their leisure time that is causing them permanent hearing loss.
The study, conducted by Binge Listening and backed by the Federal Government, found that 13% of young people in Australia receive an annual dose of leisure-related noise which exceeds that allowed on a building site.

Noise levels exceed maximum limits

Loud music from MP3 players, rock concerts and nightclubs were the main noisy leisure activities which were causing many young Australians irreparable hearing loss.
The director of research at the National Acoustic Laboratory in Australia, Harvey Dillon, says the noise levels in most of these venues are often greater than the maximum limits outlined by laws restricting workplace noise.
The average volume at a nightclub is 98 dB, just short of the 100 dB mark which can cause hearing damage after just 15 minutes. The acceptable level for noise in the workplace is 85 dB over an eight-hour period.

Unaware of permanence

The study also showed that a third of young Australians were not aware that hearing loss is permanent.
“So that’s an education message we have to get out there; once you lose your hearing it won’t come back”, says Harvey Dillon.
The study involved a poll of one thousand young Australians, aged 18 to 35 years, out of whom many are already suffering from the early symptoms of hearing loss.

Source: ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation www.abc.net.au

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