Is the vuvuzela a gross health hazard?

By anthonykreiner, 9 December, 2009

I'm completely grossed out by what I heard recently. Unlike a decent musical instrument, this vuvuzela has no spit trap, which gives credibility to the claim that blowing thousands of these in a stadium creates a mist that shows up in the spotlights. Add to this the globs from the waving and shaking that must take place, and think beyond gross, think health risk. The Department of Health will probably be giving XDR-TB patients day passes to see the games instead of doing a proper investigation into this potential hazard.

The popular Vuvuzela trumpet used at soccer games in South Africa emits a dangerously loud sound.Researchers at the Department of Communication Pathology are investigating the possible hearing health risk posed by the Vuvuzela. Prof James Hall, Prof De Wet Swanepoel and Dr Dirk Koekemoer are documenting sound intensity and frequency spectrum measurements of the Vuvuzela to quantify the risk for hearing loss. Results indicate that the Vuvuzela’s output intensity is dangerously loud. Anyone in the nearby vicinity is at a severe risk of permanent noise-induced hearing loss and associated tinnitus (ringing in the ears). According to occupational noise standards, people should not be exposed to the intensities produced by the Vuvuzela for more than a couple of minutes if they are within a radius of 1 to 2 meters. At a typical soccer game the cumulative effect of many Vuvuzela’s blown constantly for 90 minutes create a hearing health care risk similar to that experienced by a goldminer drilling the rock-face for example. Without the use of effective hearing protection people are exposing themselves to the severe risk category for permanent hearing loss.


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