Bikers modifying motorcycles leading to more noise pollution

Bikers modifying motorcycles leading to more noise pollution

Motorbikers are modifying their motorcycle  exhausts leading to yet more noise pollution

For Naresh Patel, guessing the exact time at night is no big deal. The moment he hears ‘thud, thud, thud, thud,” he knows well it is 10.30 pm. It’s his neighbour returning home and deafening sound from his bike announces his arrival.

Patel may not be the lone person experiencing the noise pollution. Modified motorbikes with extra exhaust pipes or silencers are become nightmare for many in the city. Such vehicles not only make deafening noise, but also emit toxic chemicals into the air.

Even fellow commuters on the road do not feel safe when the bikers ridding such bikes zoom past them making thundering sound and making them go off-balance.

Sources say that youngsters who want to show off their mean machines are opting for bike modification. And thriving, but illegal, bike modification market in the city is acting as a catalyst for increasing the number of bikes facilitating the influx of with ‘loud silencers’ on the road.

Who are their customers? They are the youngsters wanting to show off their vehicles, says mechanics.

“Here, Enfield Bullet, Plusar and Yamaha bikes are a rage among youngsters. The modification includes new shapes to the outer body and changing the exhaust pipes of the bikes to provide a macho ‘thud,thud’ noise,” says Paresh, a bike modifier.

Under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, any alteration to the factory model is illegal. “Any change that increases the weight of the vehicle by 10% can be done with the consent of the manufacturer and the regional transport office. Changes to exhaust pipe cannot be allowed,” said a regional transport officer.

Removing the catalytic converter, a component fitted to the exhaust pipe is the easiest, way to increase the thump.

“This type of silencer is called a free flow exhaust. It produces more sound but toxic gases, filtered by the catalytic converter are directly released into the air,” said an expert from SVNIT college.

The city police has already started a drive to catch the youngsters riding on the modified bikes with loud silencers and deafening horns.

“Every day around 15 to 20 youngsters are fined for riding haphazardly on the roads. We also check the modifications and issue them with separate challans. On weekends, we organize drives in the areas like Piplod, Vesu, Dumas road, etc, for drag racers,” said a senior police officer.

Independence Day celebrations brings food, family, fireworks and damaged hearing

Independence Day celebrations brings food, family, fireworks and damaged hearing

Independence Day celebrations include food, family and fireworks and damaged hearing

fireworks-damaged-hearing-1However, those bright displays of chemical reactions cause loud booms and shrieking noises that could cause damaged hearing.

“The Excalibur probably makes the loudest noise,” Boom Town Fireworks seller Eddie Spears said. “Most of the noise is in the air but it’s still really, really loud. The other ones on a scale of one to 10 are like a five. This one is like a nine.

Dr. Christopher Spankovich said some the fireworks can compare to being at a gun range or the roar of a jet engine.

“It really has to do with the level. It’s (at a) highly significant level (at) 140 to 180 decibels. It’s a brief signal so we consider it a compulsive sound,” Spankovich said.

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No matter how brief it may be, experts still say it can cause damage to your hearing.

fireworks-damaged-hearing-2

fireworks-damaged-hearing

A test using a decibel meter at the Thompson Air Force Base found a C-17 airplane taxing at the Thompson Field registered between 93 and 95 decibels.

The Saturn Missiles firework topped at over a 100 decibels during the test.

Airmen on the field are required to wear two sets of ear protection, but people at home launching fireworks typically do not shield their ears from the damaging sound.

“If you don’t follow the written guidelines the Air Force provides, you are at risk for hearing loss. It can be minimal or complete hearing loss,” Mississippi National Guardsmen Angel Padilla said.

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Spankovich said fireworks damaged his hearing.

fireworks-damaged-hearing-3

fireworks-damaged-hearing

“I actually incurred a hearing loss from setting off fireworks in one ear,” he said.

Once the hearing is lost it is permanent and his hearing continues to worsen with time, Spankovich said

Experts have some advice to follow before you light firecrackers to celebrate Independence Day.

“Keep the (fireworks at a) distance (away), utilize hearing protection devices and that’s going to be your best way of diminishing risk. The other option is finding fireworks that produce less of a bang,” he said.

Also remember once the fireworks are used and are no longer active, make sure you place them in a bucket of water to soak for several hours

Don’t Damage Your Hearing, Buy Your Earplugs Here From Amazon

However, those bright displays of chemical reactions cause loud booms and shrieking noises that could damage your hearing.

“The Excalibur probably makes the loudest noise,” Boom Town Fireworks seller Eddie Spears said. “Most of the noise is in the air but it’s still really, really loud. The other ones on a scale of one to 10 are like a five. This one is like a nine.”

Dr. Christopher Spankovich said some the fireworks can compare to being at a gun range or the roar of a jet engine.

“It really has to do with the level. It’s (at a) highly significant level (at) 140 to 180 decibels. It’s a brief signal so we consider it a compulsive sound,” Spankovich said.

No matter how brief it may be, experts still say it can cause damage to your hearing.

A test using a decibel meter at the Thompson Air Force Base found a C-17 airplane taxing at the Thompson Field registered between 93 and 95 decibels.

The Saturn Missiles firework topped at over a 100 decibels during the test.

Airmen on the field are required to wear two sets of ear protection, but people at home launching fireworks typically do not shield their ears from the damaging sound.

Don’t Damage Your Hearing, Buy Your Earplugs Here From Amazon

“If you don’t follow the written guidelines the Air Force provides, you are at risk for hearing loss. It can be minimal or complete hearing loss,” Mississippi National Guardsmen Angel Padilla said.

Spankovich said fireworks damaged his hearing.

“I actually incurred a hearing loss from setting off fireworks in one ear,” he said.

Once the hearing is lost it is permanent and his hearing continues to worsen with time, Spankovich said

Experts have some advice to follow before you light firecrackers to celebrate Independence Day.

“Keep the (fireworks at a) distance (away), utilize hearing protection devices and that’s going to be your best way of diminishing risk. The other option is finding fireworks that produce less of a bang,” he said.

Also remember once the fireworks are used and are no longer active, make sure you place them in a bucket of water to soak for several hours.

Are Earplugs The New Rubbers?

Are Earplugs The New Rubbers?

Earplugs are being used as prophylactics or the new rubbers

Loud Rock Concert

Loud Rock Concert

I remember the first time I saw someone wearing earplugs casually. My friend Christa and I were at a rock concert at Pacific Standard Tavern, which boasts New Haven’s most modern sound system outside of College Street Music Hall, when I noticed two blue cones protruding from her ears.

My first response was alarm. Christa went to more concerts than anyone I knew. I felt betrayed, as though the earplugs were an admission that Christa really was not there for the music, just for the scene.

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You have something in your ears, I told her.

She turned and said, “I know.”

I barely heard her with my naked ears. I realized I hardly heard myself. But she had heard me.

From small clubs to big theaters, music shows have been getting louder for at least a generation. But earplug use hasn’t caught up. Is it starting to? Are they the new rubbers?

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In between songs, music fans are having that debate.

typicalsoundlevelscrAccording to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, hearing protectors enhance speech comprehension in loud places the way sunglasses enhance vision in extreme brightness. The rule of thumb is that noise damages your hearing if you are at arm’s length and have to shout to make yourself heard.

So basically, every rock, rap, or electronic concert I have ever been to has subtly chipped away at my inner ear.

Christa started wearing earplugs after a music festival friend of hers developed a nasty case of tinnitus, a constant ringing in your ears that makes it nearly impossible to sleep without some sort of white noise — an open window, a television humming — to mitigate the high-pitched whine in your head.

ear-defense-packaging-265x415Studies haven’t conclusively documented the benefits or earplugs, but do suggest that they do eliminate at least some short-term hearing loss, according to this report from Reuters. One key factor: Using them right.

In an interview with the Independent, Dr. Elias Michaelides, director of theYale Center for Hearing and Balance, confirmed research indicating that as many as one in five teens suffer from hearing loss, and those numbers are only getting worse. The latest study, from JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, concludes that loud music at live events is at least partly responsible for that loss.

“We don’t know if younger ears are more vulnerable,” Dr. Michaelides said, “but when you are young you still have a hearing reserve so you might not notice the damage at all.” Damage can be caused by the cumulative effects of loudness over time, not just noise trauma. The inner ear never regenerates.

Michaelides explained exactly what is happening when your ears start ringing.

“Essentially, the cochlea of your inner ears contain long rows of haired cells,” he said. When these hairs pick up vibrations from sound waves, those are converted into nerve signals. Really loud sound damages the cell hairs through over-stimulation. The eardrum only tears when it pops, which is unusual unless you are standing close to a grenade or smacked directly in your ear.”

It’s not hard to understand how these cell hairs get overstimulated. The distortion in the sound in this video from a (really good) Mates of State show at BAR is because of the sheer volume of the music, and this video was shot from behind the house’s speaker, not in front of it.

Michaelides regularly sees the worst cases, those who come in after days or weeks of constant ringing. His patients often admit that the last show they went to was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

“Hearing protection is a valid medical preventative precaution,” he said.

Ear_Defence0006

Medical plans rarely cover earplugs; if musicians declare their creative income, earplugs should be tax deductible. Prescription earplugs can range into the hundreds of dollars, but many are happy with what they’ve gotten. The over-the-counter versions are cheaper — a pack of 14 pairs of foam earplugs runs about $5 at Walgreens — but they are possibly too effective. Alternativeky, a really good pair of earplugs can be purchased from Amazon.

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Dr Hilary Jones Says That Hearing Loss Raises Risk Of Dementia

Dr Hilary Jones Says That Hearing Loss Raises Risk Of Dementia

Dr Hilary Jones Raises Awareness Saying That Hearing Loss Increases The Chances Of Dementia

Dr Hilary Jones

Dr Hilary Jones

Dr Hilary Jones – A TV doctor is in Guernsey to raise awareness of the importance of paying attention to hearing loss, saying it can increase the chances of dementia.

Dr Hilary Jones says it’s vital islanders get their hearing checked as there are currently 4m people in the UK with hearing loss that is undiagnosed.

He told ITV News hearing loss can have an impact on your general health, explaining that it makes someone two to five times more likely to develop dementia.

Dr Jones say that’s because the condition can make a person feel cut off, confused and even paranoid.

Dr Jones says age is a major factor in hearing loss, but there are ways to prevent it:

  • Keep music and TV levels low
  • Protect ears from a young age by keeping MP3 levels down
  • Get your hearing checked as soon as you notice any problems

Protect Yourself From Dementia

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Noise Levels In Summer At 4 Spots In A City Are Twice The Safe Limit

Noise Levels In Summer At 4 Spots In A City Are Twice The Safe Limit

Can You Believe That Noise Levels In A City Can Be This Damaging?

Mumbai_Skyline_at_Night

Mumbai_Skyline_at_Night

Mumbai: A random reading from four of the noisiest enclaves of the city shows that Mumbaikars are sitting on a powder keg of ear-splitting decibel levels. Constant exposure to loud sound is an inescapable reality in these locations, with no mechanism in place to control the blaring of horns that accompanies the rush of traffic.

On Thursday, an ordinary summer afternoon with no festival to exacerbate the problem either, activist Sumaira Abdulali of Awaaz Foundation took readings nearSion Hospital, Dadar East railway station, Saki Naka at Andheri East, and Mohammed Ali Road. The findings were alarming. Be it hospitals or schools that are classified as silence zones, or neighbourhoods that have a mix of residential and commercial users, sound levels ranged from 95dB to 105dB.

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Noise Levels Chart

noise-levels-1

According to noise rules, sound in silence zones should not exceed 40dB at night and 50dB by day. In residential areas, there is a cap of 45dB at night and 55dB during the day.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the relative risk of hearing loss to men and women rises when they are continually exposed to noise levels over 85dB. The danger gets higher at 90dB and above.

Mohammed Ali Road, below J J flyover, has earned a dubious distinction as the noisiest enclave in Mumbai. A flood of bikers and taxi drivers rushes to negotiate multiple traffic signals, leading to screeches and skidding sounds.

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Advocate Shahid Nadeem lives in Vazir building at Shalimar junction along Bhendi Bazar. “The traffic problem is precipitated during the ongoing month of Ramzan, especially from 4pm to midnight. I think traffic police should consider opening J J flyover for bikers during this time to reduce the number of vehicles beneath the flyover. Constables should be posted at all signals. And, of course, residents must follow traffic rules,” says Nadeem, who is a lawyer for Jamiat ul Ulema.

Dadar East is an unenviable spot given the muscle of cab drivers at the taxi stand, and an amalgamation of vast footfalls from Western Railway and outstation trains. Hanuman mandir and Swaminarayan temple are meeting points for thousands of Mumbaikars.

noise-pollution-traffic1

noise-pollution-traffic1

Residents wish drivers and pedestrians would follow basic rules. Yashwant Zende, a mobile app developer who has an office here, says that even within the cacophony, it is honking that is most unbearable. “As soon as I alight from the train around 10am, I feel I should put cotton in my ears to muffle the noise. The haphazard movement of taxis leads to more honking and more irritation throughout the day,” Zende says.

Resident Anand Padhye (seen in pic) says, “The traffic department should either declare the station precinct as a no-honking zone or levy hefty fines, which will serve as a deterrent.”

Further away, the silence zone around Sion Hospital ironically faces a double whammy of ambulance sirens and indiscriminate honking. Ajay Pandya, 59, lives where the skywalk ends. He says, “I am forced to stop talking on the phone when ambulances with unnecessarily loud sirens pass even 500 metres away.” Cleatus D’Souza (seen in pic), who runs an optical store at Sion Circle, says, “Better infrastructure like the Ambedkar bridge, and the need to avoid toll for the Bandra-Worli Sealink, has prompted more vehicles to take this route. New housing complexes have also come up.” Near Gandhi Market, activist G R Vora points out that a surfeit of marriage halls sees loud processions along with musical instruments and firecrackers.

At Saki Naka junction in Andheri East, even the presence of two large nursing homes has failed to make any difference in the attitude of motorists who honk incessantly through the day.

“We have put up thick glasses to keep the noise out of the rooms and the ICCU but it helps little,” said Dr Utkarsh Angachekar of Paramount Hospital. “Unfortunately, patients who are residents of the area have become accustomed to living with such high decibels.”

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Quick Tips To Avoid Hearing Loss

Quick Tips To Avoid Hearing Loss

Do You Know How To Avoid Permanent Hearing Loss And Damage?

Hearing Loss

Loud Rock Concert

With concerts in abundance during the annual Burlington Jazz Festival, parents have been making a lot of noise about whether the loud music their children listen to at concert or simply through their ear buds as they listen to music on their smart phones or other devices can be damaging to their ears.

Well, my rule of thumb is, if the noise around you is so loud that you have to shout to be heard — there is a chance that the hearing mechanism inside your ear could be experiencing injury from the loudness and temporary hearing loss can ensue.

Well, my rule of thumb is, if the noise around you is so loud that you have to shout to be heard — there is a chance that the hearing mechanism inside your ear could be experiencing injury from the loudness and temporary hearing loss can ensue. Initially with brief loud noises, hearing will return to normal but over time you can lose your hearing permanently if constantly exposed to loud noise or music — a condition referred to as noise-induced hearing loss.

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loud-concert

loud-concert

How can you tell if you or your child are experiencing hearing loss? Acutely, you may hear ringing in your ears or a feeling of fullness muffling sounds such that speech you are hearing seems not clear or mumbled and you only hear parts of conversations when people talk.  You may find your child or teen asking people to repeat what they said or your kids are being told by their friends that they don’t hear well.

The best solution for this problem is prevention so that the hearing loss does not become permanent. For example, teach your children to turn down the volume especially if they are wearing headphones or ear buds. Be aware that earbuds have tighter seals than headphones so sound transfer may be more efficient and increase the risk of hearing loss if > 80 decibels, decibels being how we measure sound, are blasted through the ear bud especially if this level of sound persists for more than 60 minutes a day.

A rock concert or even noise through headphones played at 110 decibels can damage a youngster’s ears in just 30 minutes.

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EAR-Defence-1Encourage your kids to wear earplugs to a concert especially if they are going to be near big speakers. They’ll still be able to hear the music, but with less injury to the ear.

If you suspect your child or teen may be experiencing noise induced hearing loss, talk to your child’s health care professional to make sure it’s not an infection or clogged ear which can be easily treated.

Your child’s health professional can also test your child’s hearing to see if the damage is permanent and if a referral to a hearing specialist for further treatment like hearing aids is warranted — which would be unfortunate given how preventable noise-induced hearing loss can be..

Hopefully you’ll listen well to tips like these when it comes to protecting your child’s ears, as well as your own, from the dangers of overexposure to loud music on your ability to hear.