Vuvuzela horn

Bafana Bafana fans decked out with vuvuzelas and more during the Confederations Cup last year. Photo credit www.rnw.nl.

At least there’s one advantage of not being pitch-side to experience the World Cup first hand — presevring my hearing. Having tested a few out, I concluded two things: 1. It’s more difficult that you think to make it really honk and, 2. Regardless, it was probably not a good item to buy and bring home for our three-year-old resident, who would more than likely work out just how to get maximum honk out of it and truly cause a noise hazard!

So, sharing this update from a press release issued today.

African football fans’ instrument of choice, the vuvuzela, has already caused controversy ahead of the World Cup with authorities concerned that their excessive volume could prevent people from hearing announcements should a stadium need to be evacuated. Now, new tests have shown that the instrument is so loud, they pose a more immediate health risk to fans and players.

The long, plastic, trumpet-shaped vuvuzela was found to emit an ear piercing noise of 127 decibels – louder than a lawnmower (90 dB) and a chainsaw (100 dB). Extended exposure at just 85 decibels puts us at a risk of permanent noise induced hearing loss. When subjected to 100 dB or more, hearing damage can occur in just 15 minutes.

The most popular football fan instruments from across the world were tested in a sound proof studio.  The results:
–    Vuvuzela                  127 dB
–    Air-horn                           123.6 dB
–    Samba drum                  122.2 dB
–    Referee whistle            121.8 dB
–    2 fans singing                121.6 dB
–    Gas horn                          121.4 dB
–    Cowbell                        114.9 dB
–    Wooden rattle               108.2 dB
–    Inflatable Fan-Sticks       99.1 dB

Vuvuzelas were reportedly selling at a rapid clip at tens of thousands a month. Environmentally-friendly versions of the noisemaker are even available.

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