Vuvuzela: Horn of Deafness, Disease

Horn is dangerously loud, a great way to disseminate disease
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2010 9:41 AM CDT
A fan playing a vuvuzela is silhouetted during the World Cup match between Honduras and Chile at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, South Africa, Wednesday, June 16, 2010.   (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
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(Newser) – The only good thing that can be said about the vuvuzela, it appears, is that it's beloved to its devotees: Not only is it annoying to everyone else, but it's apt to destroy your hearing and scatter germs everywhere just for good measure. The Wall Street Journal takes a stern look at the horn, which at 127 decibels, is 27 decibels above the level of noise that can cause permanent hearing damage in 15 minutes. Soccer matches last 90.

The noise is so distracting that ESPN is filtering it out of games, but not all of it: "We still want to hear that because that's part of the experience, and part of the background," says an exec. But beyond the noise lurks the germs: Besides blowing spit all over, "If someone with a chest or throat infection uses the vuvuzela in a crowded place then they could spread the infection," says one expert.

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