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US Lockdowns Cut Personal Noise Exposure by Nearly Half, Study Finds

Accepted submission by Phoenix666 at 2020-10-16 15:46:30

New Atlas []:

The new analysis of data from the Apple Hearing Study reveals a similar trend concerning another type of pollution, in the volume of sounds the typical person is exposed to. The study is designed to gauge exposures to environmental sound at a national level and build a clearer picture of hearing health among Americans, and the pandemic threw up an interesting curveball.

The researchers gathered data from almost 6,000 participants in Texas, Florida, California and New York, amounting to more than 500,000 daily noise level readings. These were collected from Apple Watches and iPhones and cover the period before the pandemic as well as once the stay-at-home and social distancing orders were implemented.
"When sound exposures are described using the decibel scale, a 10-dB change is equivalent to a 10-fold increase or decrease in sound energy, and a 3-dB change is equivalent to a halving or doubling or sound energy," he tells New Atlas. "The average daily sound exposure we observed prior to the COVID-19 lockdowns was 73.2 decibels, and the average sound exposure post-lockdown was 70.6 decibels, for a reduction of roughly three decibels. This roughly 3-dB reduction in sound exposure is equivalent to a halving, or 50 percent reduction, in average daily sound energy among our participants."

The noise exposure was halved. Does it make a difference for human health?

Original Submission