Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Vuvuzelas: Earplugs Recommended

07.11.2011
Vuvuzelas blasted into the publics’ ears and awareness during the 2010 FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) World Cup in South Africa. One immediate question asked was: Do vuvuzelas, those cheap horns commonly made of plastic and blown by enthusiastic fans during sporting events, pose serious risks to hearing?

A group of researchers from the Southern Polytechnic State University (SPSU) in Marietta, Georgia, and the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in Atlanta, investigated vuvuzelas’ acoustics and their potential impacts on hearing and will present their findings at the Acoustical Society of America’s upcoming 162nd annual meeting in San Diego, Calif., Oct. 31-Nov. 4, 2011.

What the researchers found is that the sound levels from single horns ranged from 90 to 105 decibels at the players’ ears. They also discovered that the horns’ impact is greatest when blown simultaneously with many others, such as at the World Cup, where the levels within an audience may well approach 120 decibels.

“For perspective, 100 decibels is the level of noise you’d hear at a rock concert. An ambulance siren or pneumatic jack hammer produce about the same level of noise as the vuvuzelas in a stadium, 120 decibels, which is at the threshold of feeling and produces a tickling sensation in your ears,” explains Richard Ruhala, associate professor and program director of mechanical engineering at SPSU. “The threshold of pain is 140 decibels. Sustained exposure to 120 decibels is 1,000 times the acoustic energy that causes hearing loss (with long-term exposure). That’s why OSHA [Occupational Safety and Health Administration] requires people working near those noise levels to wear hearing protection.”

... more about:
»Acoustical Society »Earplugs »SPSU »Vuvuzelas

Ruhala worked with his wife Laura Ruhala, also a researcher at SPSU, and Kenneth Cunefare, a professor of acoustics at Georgia Tech, to record the sound levels produced by a number of vuvuzelas, including one that had been used at the 2010 World Cup.

“On the field of play, with just a few percent of a stadium’s audience blowing vuvuzelas, the predicted levels could exceed 90 decibels, which is a level that would interfere with communication between players and impair their ability to hear the calls of officials,” points out Cunefare. “At the end of the day, though, the use of these horns at sporting events is maybe as much a cultural and participation choice as anything else. Perhaps there’s a product marketing opportunity here: Hearing protectors for sale at sporting venues in each teams’ colors?”

The researchers are continuing their work, analyzing the precision sound power and directivity of measurements already obtained. They’re also zeroing in on creating more accurate sound models to evaluate the sound pressure levels vuvuzelas produce in a stadium, thanks to the aid of Tina Ortkiese, an acoustic engineer.

The paper 5aNSb1, “Vuvuzelas and their impact,” will be presented Friday morning, Nov. 4.

USEFUL LINKS:
Main meeting website: http://acousticalsociety.org/
Searchable index: http://asa.aip.org/asasearch.html
Hotel site: http://www.towncountry.com/index.cfm
Webcast registration and viewing: http://www.aipwebcasting.com
WORLD WIDE PRESS ROOM
In the week before the meeting, the ASA's World Wide Press Room (www.acoustics.org/press) will be updated with lay-language papers, which are 300-1200 word summaries of presentations written by scientists for a general audience and accompanied by photos, audio, and video.
PRESS REGISTRATION
The Acoustical Society will grant free registration to credentialed full-time journalists and professional freelance journalists working on assignment for major news outlets. If you are a reporter and would like to attend, contact Charles E. Blue (cblue@aip.org, 301-209-3091), who can also help with setting up interviews and obtaining images, sound clips, or background information.
ABOUT THE ACOUSTICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA
The Acoustical Society of America (ASA) is the premier international scientific society in acoustics devoted to the science and technology of sound. Its 7,000 members worldwide represent a broad spectrum of the study of acoustics. ASA publications include The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (the world's leading journal on acoustics), Acoustics Today magazine, books, and standards on acoustics. The society also holds two major scientific meetings each year. For more information about ASA, visit our website at http://www.acousticalsociety.org

Charles E. Blue | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.aip.org

Further reports about: Acoustical Society Earplugs SPSU Vuvuzelas

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy
24.03.2017 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst

nachricht Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core
24.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>