Loud Toys Can Damage Hearing
The Minnesota-based Sight and Hearing Association
recently tested the loudness of about a dozen toys,
and found that the Electronic Talking Nursery Rhyme
Bus at 108 decibels (dB) registered above a 105 dB
jackhammer. Three Fisher Price toys - Pull-Up Ball
Blast, Baby Smartronics Learn-a-bot, and Rappin'
Radio registered 100 dB or more, louder than a
chainsaw. Repeated exposure to these noises, even
for a few minutes, could damage the hearing of the
children (and adults) nearby. The Nova Scotia
Hearing and Speech Centres also found a toy cap
gun between 105 and 110 dB, a toy whistle at 106 dB,
a keyboard at 104 dB, and a toy drum and CD player
both at 103 dB. These toys are found for sale in
Canada despite a Health Canada prohibition which
sets the upper limit at 100 dB as measured at arms
length. The Nova Scotia tests were conducted closer
to the ear where many children would sometimes play
with their toys. The limit in the USA is a whopping
Experts are advocating labelling of loud toys to warn
parents they may be harmful. In general, if you have
to raise your voice to be heard above a noise, that
noise can, in time, damage your hearing.
-Vancouver Sun, January 8, 2002
Experts are advocating labelling of loud toys to warn parents they may be harmful. In general, if you have to raise your voice to be heard above a noise, that noise can, in time, damage your hearing.
-Vancouver Sun, January 8, 2002
|Decibels||Acceptable Exposure Time|
|50 to 60 Normal conversation||No limit|
|85 Heavy traffic, noisy restaurant||4 hours|
|105 to 120 Headphones||0 to 15 minutes|
|117 Football stadiums, theatres||Under 4 minutes|
|120 Concerts, close thunder||Instantaneous risk|
|140 Airplane taking off nearby||Instantaneous risk|
|170 Shotgun blast nearby||Instantaneous risk|
-Sources: EPA 1972 Handbook, and Canadian Hard of Hearing Association Newsletter, April, 2001
Airport Noise Jettisons Property Values
In 1994 the consulting firm of Booz-Allen & Hamilton, Inc. prepared a report titled The Effect of Airport Noise on Housing Values: A Summary Report for the Federal Aviation Administration. In two paired moderately priced neighborhoods north of Los Angeles International Airport, the study found "an average 18.6 percent higher property value in the quiet neighborhood, or 1.33 percent per dB of additional quiet."
A 1996 study funded by the Legislature of the State of Washington found that the proposed expansion of Seattle-Tacoma Airport would cost five nearby cities $500 million in property values and $22 million in real-estate tax revenue. The study of single-family homes found that "a housing unit in the immediate vicinity of the airport would sell for 10.1 percent more if it were located elsewhere." The Washington study also concluded: "All other things remaining equal, the value of a house and lot increases by about 3.4% for every quarter of a mile the house is farther away from being directly underneath the flight track of departing/approaching jet aircraft."
In 1997 Randall Bell, MAI, Certified General Real Estate Appraiser, licensed real estate broker, and instructor for the Appraisal Institute, provided the results of his own professional analysis to the Orange County Board of Supervisors. Comparing sales of 190 comparable properties over six months in communities near Los Angeles International Airport, John Wayne Airport, and Ontario Airport, Bell found a diminution in value due to airport proximity averaging 27.4 percent.
Right to Quiet Society Newsletter, Spring 2002
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