Vuvuzelas may pose a hearing risk at the Soccer World Cup

Posted on April 14, 2010

CNNM-Net's Carte Blanche, SKY News, NBC, and PBG discussed these research findings.

Results demonstrate that the Vuvuzela can reach dangerously loud levels of noise that place spectators at risk for hearing loss if exposed to these levels for more than a few minutes. A follow-up study that measured actual noise exposure levels of spectators at a PSL soccer match indicated that all spectators experienced dangerously loud levels of noise for the 2-hour duration of the match. Significant changes in the hearing of spectators was observed after the match indicating deterioration in auditory functioning. These spectators attended a match with 30 000 other spectators, many of whom blew Vuvuzela. It can only be assumed that the noise levels may be significantly higher in the new stadiums that can accommodate up to 90 000 spectators if the same proportion blow Vuvuzelas.

These studies have highlighted the need for preventative measures leading up to the 2010 Soccer World Cup. Widespread public awareness regarding the possible risks should be prioritized and personal hearing protection for all spectators and personnel working at stadiums should be encouraged.

For more information on the findings of these studies click on the links below for the full-text of the articles.
  1. Swanepoel D, Hall JW III, Koekemoer D (2010). Vuvuzela - good for your team, bad for your ears. South African Medical Journal, 100(2):99-100.

  2. Swanepoel D, Hall JW III, Koekemoer D (2010). Vuvuzela sound measurementsSouth African Medical Journal, 100(4):192.
  3. Swanepoel D, Hall JW III (2010). Football match spectator sound exposure and effect on hearing: a pretest-post-test study. South African Medical Journal, 100(4):239-242.
Previous UP web articles on the Vuvuzela:
Vuvuzela - Good for your team, bad for your ears Vuvuzela noise exposure at PSL soccer match

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