Audiology Corner: Pop! Goes the Hearing, Balloon Study Suggests
[Source: Canadian Audiologist]
The bag of party balloons in front of me has the following warning labels: “this bag is not a toy,” “choking hazard” and “to protect eyes from possible damage, the use of a balloon pump is recommended (Unique Industries©, Inc., Philadelphia, PA).” There is no mention of hearing protection or the risk of intense sounds. There is a growing literature on the potential hazards of high-intensity impulse noises, the kinds that occur from gunshots and explosions.1–4
While we suspect the general public would have no difficulty imagining that firecrackers and gunshots are potentially hazardous to hearing, we were interested in the risks of what might be considered a much more benign and child-friendly item: the party balloon. Specifically, we sought answers to the following three questions:
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