FIREWORKS MAY AFFECT HEARING FOR YOUNG PEOPLE AND ANIMALS
Victoria, B.C. (June 26, 2012) — Fireworks are fun but they can also be loud, very loud. “When fireworks burst, they can be as loud as a jet engine or a rifle shot,” says MJ DeSousa, Director of Professional Practice at Connect Hearing. “That can be a worry when people in Canada are losing their hearing 20 years earlier than in the past.”
Indeed the Canadian Hearing Society reports that 16 per cent of 9-16-year-olds have early signs of hearing loss, at the range most affected by loud sounds. The situation for animals may be even worse. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, a dog's hearing is up to 10 times more sensitive than humans, and cat’s hearing is even more sensitive than a dog.
DeSousa warns that the Victoria Day holiday and upcoming celebrations throughout the summer, including Canada Day celebrations and pyrotechnic events such as the annual fireworks festivals in Vancouver, Toronto and elsewhere, bring with them the additional responsibility of protecting the hearing of both our children and our pets.
“Keeping pets inside and leaving on the TV or radio will help protect them from the loudest noises,” says DeSousa. “Protecting our children is as simple as asking them to wear earplugs during the fireworks display, or ear muffs for babies and toddlers, and standing at least 25-30 metres away from the show.”
The Canadian Hearing Society estimates the decibel level at bursting point for fireworks is 145-150 decibels, well above the "safe level" of noise exposure.
Experts suggest that the "safe level" of noise is equal to the sound of busy city traffic. Anything higher than this increases the risk of damage to hearing, and exposure should be cut in half for every increase in three decibels. For example, exposure to 85 decibels for up to eight hours per day is considered safe while exposure to 88 decibels is only safe for a period of up to four hours.
According to Statistics Canada, more than one million Canadians reported a hearing-related disability, which is more than 50 per cent higher than the number of people reporting problems with their eyesight.
For more information on sound levels and human response visit http://www.canadianhearingsociety.com.
Deb Morse, Elevation PR