Discussion 5.1.

Added on - 17 Oct 2019

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Discussion 5.1Topic:Anyone who has ever worked in a noisy environment, such as on a factory floor,knows that there are often strict rules about how loud the sounds workers areexposed to can be, and for how long workers can be exposed. This is because long-term exposure to loud sounds can damage the sensitive hair cells in the inner ear.After they are damaged, hair cells are not replaced, resulting in permanent hearingloss.Although noise exposure in the workplace is a long-acknowledged danger, a muchmore recent concern is listening to personal music players (such as the iPod)through headphones. The popularity of these devices combined with the number ofhours many people—especially teenagers—use them, have led many hearingspecialists to worry about the safety of the players. There is evidence to suggestthat 5%–15% of headphone users listen to their music players at levels and lengthsof time that are considered unsafe. Potentially, this could lead to an epidemic ofhearing disabilities in the future.Given the potential long-term danger to hearing, some experts have recommendedlimiting by law the maximum volume on personal music players. Others, however,feel that this might be an oversimplification of the issue. This is because the risk tothe listener is not just a function of the device’s volume, but other factors as well.For example, a 90 dB sound may be considered a relatively safe level whenlistening to music through headphones for a few hours, but exposure to 90 dB for 8hours in a day might cause hearing loss. Also, the type of headphones used canincrease or decrease the loudness. Earbud style headphones tend to increase theloudness of the music compared to other styles of headphones when the volumecontrol is kept at the same level. (Although earbud headphones can increase themaximum volume possible, studies have shown that, when using earbud-styleheadphones, listeners typically keep the volume setting lower than those who useheadphones that do not enter the ear canal. This indicates that earbud headphonesare probably of no greater risk to users.)
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