National toy tests show dangerous decibel levels
Test conducted shows that a significant amount of sound-emitting toys exceeds the 100-decibel limit which was set in to protect children's hearing.
A "significant" number of sound-emitting toys tested by Health Canada exceeded the 100-decibel limit set to protect children's hearing when they were played close to the ear, according to test results obtained by Canwest News Service.
Seven of 24 electronic toys tested at the Product Safety Laboratory in Ottawa produced noise in excess of 100 in these "worst-case" close-play scenarios.
Characterizing this number of samples as "significant," the report concludes it is "reasonably foreseeable" that children hold toys close to the ear, "if for a short period of time only."
The highest level reached was 117.5 decibels when the product's speaker was positioned one centimetre from the microphone to simulate when children put toys close to their ear. That is similar to the sound of sandblasting or a rock concert.
"The health risk is greater than we ever anticipated. The possibility that one-third of toys exceed the decibel mark speaks to a critical need for action. That's the equivalent of putting a chain saw or the sound of a motorcycle up to their ear. Just hearing a motorcycle from a distance is jarring. Can you imagine what it's like for a child?"
How loud is too loud? A sampling of decibel levels.
Normal conversation - 60-70 dB
Alarm clock - 80 dB
Screaming child - 90 dB
Lawn mower - 100 dB
Snowmobile - 100 dB
Motorcycle - 100 dB
Chain saw - 110 dB
Sandblasting - 115 dB
Rock concert - 115 dB
Gunshot blast - 140 dB