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Why free earplugs will be handed out to Caps fans during Game 3

"At an arena, the level of noise can be anywhere between 100 and 120 decibels, which is way, way too loud for your hearing and for your health," one expert said.

WASHINGTON — When Washington Capitals fans rock the red for Game 3 Saturday night, there’s no doubt it’ll be loud at Capital One Arena.

That’s why a group will be handing out free earplugs at the game.

“At an arena, the level of noise can be anywhere between 100 and 120 decibels, which is way, way too loud for your hearing and for your health,” said Charles Johnson of the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA).

Exposure to noise louder than 85 decibels is considered hazardous.

Handing out a thousand sets of free earplugs at the game is part of an effort by ISEA and the Council for Accreditation in Occupational Hearing Conservation to raise awareness with the “Listen Today to Hear Tomorrow” campaign.

“What we’re telling people today is to do something,” Johnson said. “That something is to know what level of noise you’re being exposed to and wear simple foam earplugs.”

You can find downloadable noise-level apps here.

Johnson strongly encourages you to get a decibel reader to find out whether your workplace is too loud.

“Hearing loss is a lot like exposure to sun. It’s a progressive impact on your health,” Johnson said.

You can be exposed to potentially hazardous noise levels all over the place, such as when mowing the lawn (90 decibels), using a leaf blower (100 decibels), or blow-drying your hair (90 decibels).

Hearing loss is the third-most-common heath problem in the U.S., after heart disease and arthritis.

“You should be taking steps to protect your hearing, because once it’s gone, it’s gone,” Johnson said.


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