UNH Media Relations
Reporters and editors: UNH student Jaclyn McMahon can be reached at 617-922-2374 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
DURHAM, N.H. - When Snoop Dogg performs at the University of New Hampshire's Whittemore Center Friday, May 2, 2008, it won't just be neighbors or over-40s complaining that the concert is too loud.
Students in the UNH chapter of the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association (NSSLHA) will greet patrons at the sold-out concert with complementary ear plugs and information about noise exposure and hearing loss. The students, from the communication sciences and disorders department, are taking advantage of what's sure to be an ear-ringing concert to mark the American Speech and Hearing Association's Better Speech and Hearing Month in May.
"We want to show that even everyday activities, like concerts, can have adverse affects but simple measures, such as wearing earplugs or standing away from the speakers, can make a large difference to one's health," says Jaclyn McMahon, a UNH senior majoring in communication sciences and disorders and president of the UNH NSSLHA group. "We're trying to encourage people to think a little more seriously and often about the importance of their hearing."
A safe decibel, or noise, level is considered to be one that is lower than 85 decibels over an eight-hour period. The League of the Hard of Hearing estimates that noise levels at concerts are between 110 and 120 decibels, comparable to the noise level of a chain saw or leaf blower. At that level, according to the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety, noise exposure should not exceed one minute 29 seconds.
While their ears might thank them, Snoop Dogg fans won't be happy if his concert ends within two minutes. So McMahon and a dozen or so fellow students will help them mitigate the effects with free earplugs.
For those whose ears are still ringing, and for other UNH students, faculty and staff concerned about their hearing, the communication sciences and disorders department will offer free hearing screenings May 13, also part of Better Speech and Hearing Month. The screenings, in the UNH Speech-Language Hearing Center in Hewitt Hall from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., take approximately 20 minutes. To reserve a time slot, call 603-862-2110.