Vuvuzela noise tests fall on deaf ears

2010-06-07 10:29

A vuvuzela is noisier than a chain saw, hearing aid manufacturer

Phonak has warned World Cup fans.

It said tests had shown that the instrument emitted an ear-piercing

127 decibels – louder than the 90 decibels of a lawn mower and the 100 of a

chain saw.

“Extended exposure at just 85 decibels puts one at risk of

permanent noise-induced hearing loss,” Phonak said in a statement.

“When subjected to 100 decibels or more, hearing damage can occur

in just 15 minutes.”

The second most harmful noise to football fans was the air-horn,

popular with English fans, which exposed ears to damage-inducing levels of 123.6


This was followed by the drum, which reached 122 decibels, and the

referee’s whistle at 121.8 decibels.

“But passionate fans alone can be just as problematic – two singing

supporters reached 121.6 decibels,” Phonak said.

It said an audiologist advised that once the hearing damage was

done, it was irreversible. Fans going to live games – or even sitting in noisy

pubs – should take earplugs.

The tests were done as part of Hear the World, an initiative by

Phonak to raise awareness about the importance of hearing and the consequences

of hearing loss.

Phonak’s findings echo those of University of Pretoria


Despite the experts’ concerns over the hearing issue, and

reservations by some foreign players who have experienced a stadium full of

vuvuzelas, Fifa has given the green light for the instruments to be used at

World Cup games.


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