New research suggests noise levels on the Tube could impact hearing

January 30th, 2018
New research suggests noise levels on the Tube could impact hearing

The findings of a new study, which have been presented to the BBC, have suggested that noise levels on London’s underground network could impact hearing.

According to an academic from University College London, parts of London’s Tube network are so loud that passengers could sustain hearing loss as a result of regular use. According to the study, sections of both the Northern and Jubilee lines would be classed as areas that require protective measures to be employed if they were places of work and parts of the Victoria Line are so noisy that the level is similar to that of a rock gig.

Dr Joe Sollini, from the Ear Institute at UCL, analysed data related to noise levels on the underground, which had been obtained by the BBC. The loudest section was found to be the stretch between Liverpool Street and Bethnal Green, with a level of 109 decibels. This is representative of the level of noise you would expect if there was a helicopter taking off nearby. In zones 1 and 2, there were 10 journeys, which had noise levels over 105 decibels.

Dr Sollini explained that the data was worrying because in workplaces, such as offices or construction sites, hearing protection is recommended when noise levels rise to over 85 decibels.

TFL suggested that using the tube was incredibly unlikely to damage hearing in the long-term, but Dr Sollini suggested that people who take long journeys once or twice a day could experience symptoms such as tinnitus as a result of exposure to high levels of noise.

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