A study by researchers at U of T suggests that music teachers are routinely exposed to noise levels that could result in hearing loss
Led by research associate Alberto Behar and electrical and computer engineering professors Hans Kunov and Willy Wong, the team found that while general noise exposure over the course of an average day is marginally acceptable, noise levels during teaching periods could damage the inner ear. "The hair cells of the inner ear simply crumble under the load, and they don’t grow back again," says Kunov.
According to Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act, noise levels on the job should not exceed 90 decibels (dB)-the equivalent of a power lawn mower-over eight hours of a 24-hour period. Wong and his colleagues used noise dosimeters to measure exposure for 18 teachers from 15 Toronto high schools and found that the peak noise level exceeded 85 dB for 78 per cent of the teachers. During an average eight-hour exposure, the team determined that 39 per cent of the teachers faced potentially harmful noise levels.
Nicolle Wahl | University of Toronto
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