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Don't let the music damage you

PUBLISHED: 11:44 18 June 2003 | UPDATED: 14:00 03 March 2010

FESTIVAL-goers are being urged to protect themselves against over exposure to loud music or risk damaging their hearing.

For many music festivals are an integral part of any British summer, regardless of whether it rains or shines.

FESTIVAL-goers are being urged to protect themselves against over exposure to loud music or risk damaging their hearing.

For many music festivals are an integral part of any British summer, regardless of whether it rains or shines.

With a different once taking place almost every weekend across the UK RNID – the largest charity representing the needs of the deaf and hard of hearing – has launched a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of over exposure to loud music.

In May, RNID launched a new awareness raising campaign called Don't Lose the Music which was designed to encourage young people to adopt a safe listening approach to music.

It aims to encourage people to stand away from loud speakers, take regular breaks from loud music, and to wear ear plugs if regularly exposed to loud music or if exposed for long periods of time.

Research published in May 2003 found that over two thirds (69%) of regular gig goers experience ringing in their ears or dullness of hearing and that one in four (28%) gig and festival goers have experienced the warning signs of permanent hearing damage.

Brian Dow, head of RNID campaigns said: "Many of the sound engineers and people working around the stages at festivals and gigs are required to wear hearing protection by law because they are working in environments where the sound exceeds 90dB – almost the same level of noise a pneumatic drill makes.

"However current legislation does not cover people who voluntarily expose themselves to these levels of noise.

"Because of this, we need to raise people's awareness of the dangers of over exposure to loud noise.

"People need to be aware that in front of the PA stacks at festivals the noise level can be well in excess of 90dB.

"Whilst your ears can take this for a short while, its not advisable to spend long there."

RNID accepts that for many people going to a festival is as much about being at the front of the crowd as it is about listening to the music.

Don't Lose the Music is backed by a number of celebrities including, amongst others: Moby, Pink Floyd, Embrace, Pete Waterman, Jools Holland, The Cooper Temple Clause and Radio One DJ's Emma B and Dr Mark Hamilton.

Don't Lose the Music website: www.dontlosethemusic.com

Some example sound levels

0 dB Threshold of hearing

20 dB Whisper

50 dB Normal conversation

70 dB City Street

90 dB Underground railway, or power motor

100 dB Pneumatic drill 10ft away

120 dB Jet aircraft taking off

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