The Spokesman-Review

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Zag noise harmful

Regarding “Sound and Fury” (Feb. 16): We started attending Lady Zag basketball games four years ago and, because of noise-induced hearing loss, I was immediately struck by the sound level. The men’s game, with all 6,000 seats filled, must be even worse.

My sound meter measured a peak 103 decibels, with long portions going over 95dB. Since it is the university’s sound and light show that whips the fans into such noisy fury, I am flummoxed as to what Jesuit values Gonzaga University is attempting to inculcate in these young adults.

Regarding the noise: Gonzaga faces a class-action lawsuit for all the hearing aids required by former students 20 years from now. Permanent hearing damage occurs when there’s too much noise for too long. My engineering guesstimate is that permanent damage at a GU game starts after about one-half hour or less considering the noisy pregame.

Ringing in the ears will only get worse; someday soon they will ring forever. Advice: Fans can hear friends better in a noisy environment wearing earplugs. Conversation (not yelling) is 60 to 65dB so, fortunately, you can talk forever.

Leonard Butters


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