Young face dance-culture danger

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The Independent Online
A quarter of young people aged 18 to 25 are exposing themselves to noise levels that can cause permanent hearing damage, an expert warned yesterday. Clubs where deafening music is played for hours on end were the chief danger, accounting for two-thirds of the noise sources, said Professor Adrian Davis. Personal stereos and other noisy leisure activities, like shooting, were also a risk.

Professor Davis, from the Medical Research Council Institute of Hearing Research, Nottingham, is carrying out research into the effect of dance- culture noise on the young. He expects to publish the results at an international conference on hearing loss next month.

In the Eighties, between 6 and 7 per cent of young people were exposed to leisure noise loud enough to damage hearing, said the professor. In the 1990s this proportion had risen to as high as 24 per cent.

Professor Davis said his research had "disappointedly" not been able to show that young clubbers were hard of hearing. But a quarter of them suffered continual ringing in the ears, and they were likely to hasten the onset of deafness that is a normal part of ageing. "They will be more susceptible to the ravages of age than other people," he said.