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Bring your earplugs for the vuvuzelas

Posted on Wednesday, 9 June 2010 12:06

Don’t be fooled, South Africans are proud of their vuvuzelas – but many quietly don a pair of earplugs before kick-off. Scientists have now welcomed their prudence. A study by Dr De Wet Swanepoel of the department of communication pathology at the University of Pretoria has revealed that the football horns can cause ?noise-induced hearing loss.

The study, published in the March edition of the South African Medical Journal, found that vuvuzelas belt out noise at up to 131 decibels. South African standards for occupational noise say workers should wear hearing protection in environments where they are exposed to levels of 85 decibels or more.

The scientists warn that their findings are conservative. They carried out their study at a Premier Soccer League match in October 2008 at the 30,000-capacity Atteridgeville Super Stadium in Pretoria. At full capacity, World Cup stadiums will contain up to 90,000 fans.

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