13-year-old discovers toilet hand dryers are as loud as rock concerts to children, and her research has been published in a medical journey

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"I decided to test it to see if they were dangerous to hearing, and it turns out they are."
"I decided to test it to see if they were dangerous to hearing, and it turns out they are."

Nora Keegan was only 9 when she started researching why her ears would hurt whenever she either used a toilet hand dryer or stood close to one.

And at 13, not only has the teen discovered the reason, but her research has also made its way onto the Canadian peer-reviewed paediatric journal, Paediatrics & Child Health, reports CBC news

The paper is titled Children who say hand dryers 'hurt my ears' are correct: A real-world study examining the loudness of automated hand dryers in public places, and is the result of 3 years of research. You can read it here


Also see: Gifted children from around the world 

Has your child ever freaked out about how loud toilet hand dryers get? Tell us, and we could publish your mail. Anonymous contributions are welcome.


"In Grade 4, I noticed that my ears kind of hurt after the hand dryer," Nora noted in a podcast interview, explaining that the problem persisted up to Grade 5.

"So then I decided to test it to see if they were dangerous to hearing, and it turns out they are." 

To test noise levels, the young girl used a decibel meter on 44 hand machines in public toilets in her home town, taking "20 measurements per dryer" and registering sound readings at differing heights and distances. 

"I measured 18 inches from the wall, which is the industry standard. And I also measured 12 inches from the wall since I thought the children might stand closer because their hands and arms are shorter," noticing a vast difference in sound when her "hand accidentally passed into the airstream flow." 

The loudest reading the child recorded was 121 dBA, an extremely high reading considering that in Canada products and toys for children are not allowed to exceed 100 dBA, Nora deduced. 

"So this is very loud, around the level of a rock concert."

Since publishing her paper, Nora has also worked on another project, creating noise-reducing air filters suitable for hand dryers, something she plans on developing further. 

"I think I might go and talk to the manufacturers and also I might go and talk to Health Canada because even though this is a study, it's still only one study. So it'd be better if they tested more hand dryers and found more about [the] loudness of hand dryers."

Smart AF! 

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Has your child ever freaked out about how loud toilet hand dryers get? Tell us, and we could publish your mail. Anonymous contributions are welcome.

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