Experts warns that fireworks Pose a Deafening Threat to Your Hearing

Contributed by Dolores Madden

18/09/2023 00:00:00 • 2 min read

Tags • News and events

As Halloween approaches in Ireland, Hidden Hearing is raising a red flag about the potential dangers of fireworks to your hearing.

Despite being illegal in Ireland, fireworks continue to be a popular choice for halloween celebrations, but few are aware of the potential risks they pose to our hearing. The human ear is an intricate and delicate organ, susceptible to damage when exposed to high noise levels. According to experts, prolonged exposure to sounds exceeding 80 decibels can lead to hearing loss, while noises over 120 decibels can cause immediate and irreversible harm to your hearing.

In light of these concerns, we analysed data around the noise levels of some of the most commonly used fireworks: Category F3 rockets registered a worrisome 115 decibels. Battery of shottube fireworks exceeded the 120-decibel limit at 122 decibels. Fountain fireworks approached the dangerous limit at 111 decibels. Roman candles were also alarmingly close at 113 decibels. Single shot tubes clocked in at 115 decibels.

Dolores Madden, Marketing Director at Hidden Hearing and a trained audiologist, said that: "Despite being illegal in Ireland, fireworks are still commonly seen at Halloween. In the hands of untrained professionals, the immediate dangers are obvious, but their impact on hearing health should not be underestimated. Exposure to fireworks, especially those with sound levels near or exceeding 120 decibels, can have immediate and long-lasting effects on our hearing. It's concerning that these fireworks, which are banned in Ireland, continue to pose a risk."

Madden continues, "Hearing loss is often a gradual process, and people may not immediately recognize the damage they've sustained. The delicate hair cells in our ears can be irreversibly harmed by loud noises, leading to hearing impairment. We strongly advise the public to prioritize their hearing health and avoid exposure to fireworks that produce dangerously high noise levels."

We urge everybody to enjoy Halloween responsibly and consider safer alternatives such as to only attend licensed events organised by professionals who adhere to safety standards.

Dolores Madden, Marketing Director and Senior Audiologist, ISHAA Board Member
In 1987, Hidden Hearing was established in Ireland. Dolores Madden joined the company two years later. In 2003, Dolores was appointed Marketing Director at Hidden Hearing. Hearing loss is the second most common health issue globally and overcoming the stigma of hearing loss is one of our biggest challenges. Dolores is on a mission to promote pro-active hearing healthcare, encouraging people to take annual hearing tests and treatment as necessary. Early diagnosis and intervention can prevent social isolation, depression, cognitive decline, and other adverse impacts caused by untreated hearing loss.