Re: [sixties-l] Unplug the oldies - for good

Date: Sun Aug 26 2001 - 20:30:43 EDT

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    Will baby-boomers ever grow up?

    Aging baby-boomers trying to pretend to be hot young rockers are pathetic.

    Don't they know that hearing impairment is the nation's most prevalent chronic illness, and that loud rock bands and loud stereos are a big reason for this? In the early 90s, the National Institutes of Health estimated 28 million cases of hearing impairment in the US, with 10 million said to be caused by excessive noise.

    Don't they know why rock'n'roll sax player Billy Clinton had to get a hearing aid at age 50?

    But hearing loss isn't the only problem. Portuguese medical researcher Nuno Castello Branco has been studying the problem of vibroacoustic illness, which afflicts workers in factories with constant exposure to high-decibel, low frequency sound. DJs, because of the loud thumping bass, are mentioned by him as another risk group for this syndrome, which often manifests as coronary heart disease. The loud thumping bass of a rock band can do the same thing.

    Castelo Branco has also observed vibroacoustic illness among residents of Vieques Island. He and his team examined 50 subjects and observed enlarged heart sacs in 49. This was attributed to the distant booms of naval cannons. People who get close to bass amplifiers are exposing themselves to an equally powerful dose of concussion wave.

    For more on the subject of loud music and vibroacoustic illness, see this article by psychologist Bart Billings:

    Also see my website, devoted to the menace of boom cars:

    Instead of living in their Peter Pan dream world, baby-boomers should be taking the leadership in addressing the health and safety hazards of noise pollution.

    Finally, see the Noise Pollution Clearinghouse, a grant-funded organization in Vermont:

     -- Michael Wright

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