Noise from NASCAR street racing could be damaging to health

Photo credit: Alfred GF

by Arline L. Bronzaft, Ph.D., Board of Directors, GrowNYC, Co-founder, The Quiet Coalition, and Honorary Chair, Quiet American Skies

That NASCAR racing is loud should not be surprising nor should it be surprising that its loud sounds may pose “potential dangers to hearing and pets,” as online Nigerian news source reportsWhat may be surprising is that NASCAR recognizes these dangers and is taking action to lessen the impact of those loud cars. Before discussing the article, I have to point out that all people, both those with good hearing and those who are hearing impaired, can be harmed by loud sounds. 

Thus, I am puzzled by the first paragraph of this article. It states that NASCAR noise “presents dangers to both the hearing impaired and pets, according to experts.” Yet, the report cited in the article refers to the Hearing Loss Association of America cautioning all people, not just those who are hearing impaired, to protect themselves from noise-induced hearing loss.

NASCAR’s first-ever Chicago street race took place at the beginning of July. For the race, NASCAR reduced the amount of time cars were on the course and racers had to install specialized mufflers. Decibel readings were taken during the race. We should note that these races can produce sounds ranging from 100 to 130 decibels, which is extremely loud. Especially important was the warning to attendees at the race to bring ear plugs or other hearing protection devices. A warning was also given to pet owners to keep their pets indoors or in a place where they cannot hear the loud sounds, or even create a specific protective space for them.

The article ends by stating how crucial it is to protect your hearing while enjoying the races like these.

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