Classroom Noise Concerns Researchers – With concerns raised and studies forged in recent years on health and learning problems experienced by children exposed to loud noise, it should come as no surprise that teachers are falling victim to noise induced hearing loss, caused by long hours spent in high decibel classrooms and gymnasiums.
However, it does come as a surprise, at least to school district administrators in Canada who have been testing teachers yearly for hearing impairment. This year, officials say, is the first time they have noted a marked rise in hearing loss among teachers.
Winnipeg houses Canada’s largest school district (they call them divisions), and this is where the teachers with noted hearing loss first surfaced.
“It’s a warning sign to us that we need to do something,” Division Director Eugene Gerbasi recently told CBS News. “If we don’t do something, individuals could potentially lose their hearing,” Gerbasi said.
So why no uproar about the children exposed to the same conditions as the teachers? They’re not at risk because they do not log the long hours, year after year, in gyms, band classes, shop classes and other high decibel classrooms. In some schools where teachers were tested, the loudest classes include choir, music, band, and industrial arts. However, the gym appears to be the worst culprit across the board, with noise levels routinely measured above 90 decibels.
Under Manitoba’s workplace legislation, noise levels cannot exceed 85 decibels.