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Research finds that the blockade in the United States has cut personal noise exposure by almost half

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Last year, Apple worked with scientists at the University of Michigan (UM) How to study noise pollution It can affect the hearing health of humans. A survey of data before and after home and social distance orders conducted in response to the coronavirus pandemic revealed some interesting trends. In particular, people’s exposure to environmental noise has been reduced by almost half.

This year, many parts of society around the world stopped to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, resulting in a sharp reduction in various forms of pollution. This includes a significant reduction in nitrogen dioxide. China And Italy,and”Extreme depressionWorld carbon emissions.

A new analysis of data from the Apple Hearing Study reveals a similar trend for another type of pollution in the amount of sound that a typical person is exposed to. The study was designed to measure exposure to environmental sounds at the national level and provide a clearer picture of the hearing health of Americans, and the pandemic threw an interesting curve ball.

The researchers collected data from approximately 6,000 participants in Texas, Florida, California, and New York, with daily noise level measurements in excess of 500,000. These are collected from Apple Watch and iPhone and cover the period before the pandemic and the period after the stay-at-home order and social distance order were executed.

As part of the study, over 500,000 daily noise levels from approximately 6,000 participants were analyzed.
As part of the study, over 500,000 daily noise levels from approximately 6,000 participants were analyzed.

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As the study’s author, Rick Naitzel, explains, analysis reveals that on average, each person’s daily noise level is reduced by 3 decibels, or almost half, when blockades are taken. became.

“Explaining sound exposure on a 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 half or twice the sound energy or sound energy,” he says. I will. New atlas. “The average daily sound exposure observed before the blockade of COVID-19 was 73.2 decibels, and the average post-blockade sound exposure was 70.6 decibels, a decrease of about 3 decibels. About 3 dB of this sound exposure. The reductions are comparable. Participants’ average daily acoustic energy has been reduced by half or 50%. “

These occurred at different rates and to varying degrees depending on location and were reflected in the team’s analysis.

“California and New York both had a significant reduction in sound that occurred very quickly, but Florida and Texas had a slightly smaller reduction,” says Neitzel.

The analysis also showed the greatest noise reduction over the weekend, showing that almost all subjects reduced their time to withstand noise above 75 decibels, a level considered safe by public authorities such as the World Health Organization. it was done. This, in a sense, means that the stadium has been leveled, coupled with an increase in teleworkers. In other words, when it comes to noise pollution, weekdays didn’t look much different than weekends.

“People’s daily lives have been disrupted and there is no longer any significant difference between traditional five business days and weekend exposures,” says Neitzel.

A paper explaining the research was published in the journal Environmental research letter..

Source: University of Michigan

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