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Laryngoscope. 1989 Mar;99(3):330-4.

Toy weapons and firecrackers: a source of hearing loss.

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1
Department of ENT, J.N. Medical College, Aligarh Muslim University, India.

Abstract

Although acoustic injury as a result of exposure to noisy toys and firecrackers has been reported previously, most of these studies have been conducted on adults. The purpose of this prospective study, conducted at the time of Deepawali, an Indian festival of fireworks, was two-fold: 1. to measure the acoustic output of representative samples of toy weapons and firecrackers and the intensity level at critical spectator points from the site of emission; and 2. to determine the auditory status of a cross section of the target population, involving 600 participants from various age groups, before and after exposure to firecracker noise at Deepawali. The average sound level at a distance of 3 m was 150 dB, thus exceeding the damage risk criterion for adults (i.e., 130 dB peak level). An average 30 dB persistent sensorineural hearing loss was found in 2.5% of the target population as a result of toy weapon/firecracker noise during Deepawali. The 9- to 15-year-old age group was most affected. A judicious approach in the manufacture and use of toy weapons and firecrackers, in addition to legal restraints, is advocated.

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