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 RESEARCH ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 99  |  Page : 47--54

Noise levels at baseball stadiums and the spectators’ attitude to noise


1 Laboratory of Hearing and Technology, Research Institute of Audiology and Speech Pathology, Hallym University, Chuncheon; Division of Speech Pathology and Audiology, College of Natural Sciences, Hallym University, Chuncheon; Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology, The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Knoxville, TN, USA, Republic of Korea
2 Laboratory of Hearing and Technology, Research Institute of Audiology and Speech Pathology, Hallym University, Chuncheon; Division of Speech Pathology and Audiology, College of Natural Sciences, Hallym University, Chuncheon, Republic of Korea

Correspondence Address:
Woojae Han
Laboratory of Hearing and Technology, Division of Speech Pathology and Audiology, Hallym University, Hallymdaehakgil 1, Chunchon, 24252
Republic of Korea
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/nah.NAH_39_18

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Background: Many public health professionals have expressed concern that regular participation in recreational settings with high noise levels might induce hearing loss. This study measures the noise levels in a baseball stadium and analyzes baseball fans’ attitude of effect of recreational noise exposure on their hearing. Methods: In the baseball stadium, noise levels from the beginning to the end of four games were measured in four seating sections, the red, blue, navy, and outfield sections using a sound level meter. For the survey sample, 344 randomly selected participants who visited the stadium and/or were baseball fans completed a 16-question survey on their noise exposure during the game and on the potential risk of hearing loss. Results: The LAeq average of the 16 measures produced 91.7 dBA, showing a significantly high noise level in the red and navy sections. As a function of frequency by LZeq analysis, the noise levels of low frequencies between 0.05 and 1 kHz were significantly higher than other frequencies except for the outfield section, but the levels abruptly decreased above 1 kHz. Despite the very high noise levels, 70% of the respondents preferred sitting in either the red or the navy section to be closer to the cheerleaders and to obtain a good view. Most respondents reported that they did not consider wearing earplugs, and one-third experienced hearing muffled speech after the game. Notably, they agreed that an information announcement regarding loud noise and hearing protection was needed at the stadium. Conclusions: We conclude that the noise levels in baseball stadiums are high enough to cause hearing damage and/or tinnitus later when applying a rule of 85 dB LAeq for 8 hours with a 3-dB exchange rate. We expect these results to improve public education regarding safe noise exposure during popular sports activities.






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