Alert on vuvuzelas

THE vuvuzela, the trumpet that will be a fixture at World Cup matches, is the loudest of all fan instruments and can cause permanent hearing loss, a global hearing foundation said yesterday.

THE vuvuzela, the trumpet that will be a fixture at World Cup matches, is the loudest of all fan instruments and can cause permanent hearing loss, a global hearing foundation said yesterday.

Fifa has okayed it for the tournament. But the "Hear the World Foundation" - an initiative formed by Swiss hearing products group, Phona is worried.

This follows concern that after tests at a match at Soccer City due to worries the din could cause permanent loss of hearing. It could also drown out emergency announcements.

The foundation said tests showed the vuvuzela far out-blasted a chainsaw.

The tests, conducted late last month in a soundproof studio, found the vuvuzela emitted 127 decibels, more than the air horn - 123,5 decibels - and Brazil's samba drums.

A referee's whistle was fourth while the cowbell, a favourite in Switzerland and Austria, trailed at 114,9 decibels. - Reuters

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