December 24, 2006

Come On Feel The Noise

Quiet Riot. Ya can't have the 80's without Quiet Riot. Here's the vid.

A UK study warns of danger to a kid's hearing from toys that are too loud. & they have a point - some toys are loud enough to cause hearing damage with prolonged use. But this gets gun related:

"Toy guns were the worst offenders, emitting 120 to 140 decibels when held at arm's length and 130 to 143 decibels when held close to the ear. Noise of 140 decibels or above can cause immediate hearing damage.
'If I had children, I wouldn't give any of these gun-toys to them,' noted Backus, who said his ears were ringing after testing the guns. 'And I would recommend that people avoid them. They have the very real potential to cause permanent hearing loss."

& I concur. Don't get your kid a toy gun for Christmas; not when there are Chipmunks for the youngin’s & those oh-so-relatively-cheap SKS's for the teens. There are several advantages to real firearms over toy firearms. They not only help teach responsibility but since they're loud anyway most folks know to use hearing protection with them, unlike those deceptively harmful-to-your-hearing toy guns. Plus I'm sure the idea that their research is encouraging us Americans to arm our kids would be upsetting to UK scientists. & that's its own reward right there.

Seriously I've been around loud noises all my life (that musician thing) & I've lost some of my upper frequency hearing because of it. It seems trivial but some toys & devices are loud enough to damage your hearing especially with prolonged use. So in addition to hearing protection at the range look around the house & see what your kid has that is too loud for the naked ear. Then buy him or her a rifle to tick off the UK researchers (don’t tell them about the ear plugs just yet). Just cause.

Here's the article from the Deafness Research UK site. It goes into more detail about the tests & I really can't say that I disagree with their conclusions about the specific toy guns they tested. The toy guns were louder than some .22LR rifles (according to decibel readings of .22 rifles found at this site & at this site). Since most folks wouldn’t think of making their kids use hearing protection with a cap gun I can see where it’d be potentially dangerous to a kid’s hearing. But since you all make your kids use plugs or muffs when using a real gun then the real gun would be safer for your kids hearing. Now if we could just get sound suppressors removed from the NFA so that particular safety device could be more widely used…

& for your general knowledge here's an explanation of the decibel system. The gist is 3 dB is a 100% increase in what it sounds like, so 74 dB is twice as loud as 71 dB. & here's an interesting read called Sound Levels by Federico Miyara. Here's a very good article on noise hazards for shooters called Sound Advice by Amin Musani, Au.D. & here’s another one called The Decibel (dB) & Sound Measurement (What do those dBs mean?).

Posted by Publicola at December 24, 2006 06:27 AM | TrackBack