By Niraj Chokshi: For More Info, Go Here…
Do hand dryers pose a threat to children’s hearing?
The answer may be yes, according to a new study published in the official journal of the Canadian Paediatric Society, which found that some of the devices can be as loud as a sporting event or an approaching subway train.
To investigate that question, Nora Keegan, the study’s author, spent more than a year taking hundreds of measurements in public restrooms throughout Calgary, her hometown.
Her interest in the subject was not only academic, but also personal: She’s 13, after all.
“I found my ears hurting and also that children were covering their ears because the hand dryers were too loud, so I wondered if maybe they actually are dangerous to human ears, and I decided to test it,” she said in an interview from a summer camp north of Montreal.
“I thought maybe they only measured at an adult’s height or only a men’s height, so I decided to test children’s heights as well as women and men’s heights,” she said. She also found that the industry typically tested sound levels at 18 inches from the wall, a distance that seemed too far for a child’s shorter arms.
So, with help from her family and armed with a decibel meter, a ruler and a measuring tape, Nora began touring public restrooms in places children might frequent: schools, libraries and malls, as well as restaurants like Starbucks, Dairy Queen and, of course, the Canadian staple Tim Hortons.
The measurements Nora collected on her first day were encouraging but alarming: After seeing the results, her parents decided to buy her noise-canceling headphones to use as she collected more measurements.