Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Number of the Week: 127 dB

After a bit of a lull in proceedings, the number of the week returns!

That's the 'sound pressure level' of a South African vuvuzela horn which we have been hearing for the last week or so, like a soundtrack to all of the World Cup matches.
The earpiercing noise is louder than a lawnmower (90 decibels) and a chainsaw (100 dB). Extended exposure at 85 dB puts you at risk of permanent hearing damage, while exposure to 100 dB or more can lead to hearing damage in just 15 minutes.
However, to put it in context, a survey by Hear the World has shown that samba drums and airhorns (two instruments commonly found in the terraces) can also produce volumes of 122 and 124 dB respectively. Indeed, "two fans singing" can reach 122 dB.
Enjoy the game.


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