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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Science Scene

Headphones found to potentially cause significant hearing loss

Loud now may mean quiet later.

College-aged students are listening to portable music players at hazardous volumes, says a new study by researchers from the University of Southern Mississippi.

Out of 31 sampled college students, more than half of the subjects listened to their devices at decibels that could, over a prolonged period of time, cause significant hearing loss.

Scientists have long considered extended exposure to 85 decibels, around the sound of a hair dryer, dangerous. But researchers say iPods, due to their personal nature, can easily reach volumes of around 130 decibels.

“It used to be in the past, for example, that someone’s walking around with a boom box or radio, you can hear how much loudness they’re generating, and if you’re an authority figure like a parent or a teacher or a supervisor, you can tell them, that’s too loud,” said lead researcher Edward Goshorn, an audiologist, to Live Science.

Though the study’s sample was relatively small, other research has also confirmed similar results. It makes this data reasonably indicative of the potential hazards of the use of personal music players, according to researchers.

The scientists plan to do another more extensive study soon.

Source: Live Science

Governor bans cutting cow tails

Governor Schwarzenegger pardoned their tails.

On Sunday, Schwarzenegger signed a bill, SB-135, that makes tail docking or the practice of cutting off cow tails illegal.

It’s estimated that the practice is performed on fewer than 15 percent of the state’s dairy cows, according to the Associated Press.

But opponents to the bill say tail docking is hygienic and labor saving as it prevents cows from flinging manure. However experts say scientific research shows no data to support the practice for reasons to do with food safety. Proponents of the bill affirm that the practice causes cows chronic pain.

California, the nation’s leading dairy producer, is the first state to pass such a measure. It will go into effect in 2010.

Source: The Associated Press


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