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22 december, 2005

Be smart!! Don't lose the music!!

No music from me today, but something related to it.

If you are a music fan or even a DJ, who regulary listens to loud music, you could be putting your hearing at risk. If you can't talk to people about two metres away without shouting because of the loud music, it means the noise level is dangerous and you should take precautions to protect your hearing.

How loud is too loud? If you have ever been to a club or concert or listened to loud music at home and found that you cannot hear properly for a few hours afterwards, then your ears are telling you that the sound was too loud.

To reduce the risk you should limit the amount of time you spend in a loud environment, take regular breaks and wear earplugs to protect your hearing.

Is there a safe listening time?
Your hearing can be damaged by a combination of three factors - the length of time you expose yourself to a noise, the average level of the noise and the peak level of the noise. However another variable is how susceptible you are to hearing damage. This varies from person to person and you can only know how susceptible you are after you have damaged your hearing, so it is important to take precautions to prevent it.

Levels of noise
Noise levels are measured in decibels denoted as dB(A) which is a scale that reflects the sensitivity of human ears to different levels of sound. Take a look at the approximate levels of some familiar sounds:

* 20dB(A) is a quiet room at night
* 70dB(A) is a city street
* 80dB(A) is shouting


* 90 -105dB(A) is a night club dance floor
* 110dB(A) is a pneumatic drill 10 foot away
* 125dB(A) is a rock concert
* 130dB(A) is an aeroplane taking off 100 metres away
* 140db(A) is a the threshold of pain

So how long can I listen for?
The Noise at Work regulations are laws that protect your hearing at work. If you work in a place where the daily noise levels reach or exceed 85dB your employer must tell you about the risks and provide ear protectors for you to wear. If you work in a place where the noise reaches or exceeds 90dB the law says you must wear ear protectors and it is up to your employer to make sure you do. However the Noise at Work regulations don't apply outside the workplace, so it is up to you to safeguard your hearing.

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