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Echo Barrier Blog

New Year’s Eve is a time of celebration but does ringing in the new year cause ringing in your ears?

Posted by Tom Peary on May 24, 2018 10:40:00 AM | Acoustic Barriers|Events Related

We all love to celebrate the arrival of the start of a new year by attending parties at the houses of friends and family or by attending organised events. 

Across the globe, New Year’s Eve is associated with celebrating with your nearest and dearest with parties, music, dancing and in many cases, fireworks. When we’re in the midst of merriment the last thing we are thinking about is the noise we are making, how it affects us and those around us.

Fireworks form a significant part of the New Year’s Eve celebrations across the world.  And while we love to ‘ooh’ and ‘ah’ at their colourful displays, they produce a sound output of between 150 to 175 decibels which can cause permanent damage to your hearing. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that adults should not be exposed to more than 140 decibels of peak sound pressure.   Fireworks are significantly louder than this and according to an article by Nathan Williams, AuD of Boys Town Ear, Nose and Throat Institute, many people experience some damage to their hearing as a result of the noise emitted by fireworks. Damage caused by exposure to loud sounds from live music, sound systems and explosive noises like those emitted by fireworks can range from tinnitus to permanent hearing loss. 
Giving new meaning to the term ‘ringing in the New Year’ at the stroke of midnight.

Keep your distance One of the factors that contribute to hearing damage from loud noise created by live events such as fireworks displays is the distance a person is from the sound source.  The further away you are from the source, the less chance there is of damage.  It is recommended that you ensure you are approximately 15-20 metres away to limit damage, this distance is even further for children.

Ear plugs aren’t just a sleep aid Another contributing factor is how loud the noise that you are close to actually is.  Ear plugs are useful for more than just drowning out your partners snoring, protecting your ears by using earplugs or ear protectors can also prevent damage from exposure to loud sounds.  

Circumstantial exposure For those in the surrounding area to lively new year celebrations, other people’s fun could be causing a distressing noise disturbance.  Most people are tolerant of noise on nights such as New Year’s Eve, it’s a given that there will be parties and events taking place.  But it’s fair to say that when it gets to the early hours of the morning and things aren’t wrapping up, such revelling can verge on being noise pollution.
Night hours are 11 pm to 7 am, the law defines a maximum permitted level of noise during these hours and councils may issue warning notices in response to complaints about noise above these levels. For these people that are not willingly exposing themselves to the noise, sounds from fireworks, live music and entertainment venues like night clubs and bars can present a significant health impact. 
Such noise pollutants increase the risk of high blood pressure, hypertension and heart disease.
One of the ways that organisers of large New Year’s Eve events can reduce the impact of the noise for people in the surrounding area is through the use of acoustic barriers. 
Acoustic barriers prevent unnecessary noise affecting people not attending the event. We offer durable temporary noise control solutions that are fully customisable and are quick and easy to install. 

Our temporary noise control systems help outdoor event organisers and music venues to improve sound quality for those taking part, without causing distress to people in the neighbourhood.

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