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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » FIREWORKS: Noise damage more likely w/ abx; Toxic Smoke

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Author Topic: FIREWORKS: Noise damage more likely w/ abx; Toxic Smoke
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(abx - antibiotics)

Everyone be very careful around July 4.

Both infection and medicines lower the decibel (dB) level at which sound can permanently damage ears.

Even when around hairdryer, ear plugs should be worn. Vacuums, blenders, yard equipment, etc. and fire works can still damage ears even if ear plugs are worn, though as ear plugs simply cannot block out all the sound/vibration.

Much of it travels through bone, through our nasal cavity, etc.

Ear plugs and dB rated muffs can help but are still are no guarantee with ears that also have to battle infection and medicines.

For even up to a year after some antibiotics, the ears are still more susceptible to damage from lower levels than normal (as per Bauman in his "Ototoxic Drugs" book).

For lyme patients, even low level vibration can be very hard and create vertigo and nausea. It need not be loud to bother the ears. There are no studies about deep vibration but, my guess, is that it damages us by increasing the stress hormones and that damages our hearts and brains.

With some of the very deep vibrations of Fire Works, now, this needs to also be considered.

Aspirin can also cause ears to be more easily damaged (Bauman).


In general, and for what can help, etc:;f=1;t=065801

Topic: TINNITUS: Ringing Between The Ears; Vestibular, Balance, Hearing with compiled links - including HYPERACUSIS

[ 07-03-2010, 02:25 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

Posts: 48021 | From Tree House | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Smoke and Mirrors?

Jul 02, 2010 (USA Today interview with McLendon)

Are July 4th fireworks bad for the environment?


. . . "Fireworks can unleash a shower of toxins into soil and water, and scientists are only beginning to figure out what that means for human health," writes Russell McLendon on Mother Nature Network, an environmental website.

He cites studies showing perchlorate levels in nearby wells and waterways rose dramatically after a fireworks show.

He adds: . . . An effort to ban them in Hawaii cites their impact on human health and has the backing of the state's American Lung Association, according to the Honolulu Advertiser.

McLendon says the eco-friendliest alternative to fireworks is to avoid them completely and instead go fishing or camping.

He says other alternatives include laser light shows, which emit no dangerous chemicals, and Disneyland's use of compressed air to launch fireworks, which reduce particulates in the air and perchlorates in the water.

Why's he so concerned? Here are excerpts of his article:

In addition to gunpowder, fireworks are packed with heavy metals and other toxins that produce their sparkling shower of colors.

Like perchlorates, the exact effect of fireworks' heavy-metal fallout is still mainly a mystery, but scientists do know that the metals themselves can wreak havoc in the human body.

* Strontium (red): This soft, silvery-yellow metal turns red when it burns, is extremely reactive with both air and water, and can be radioactive. Some strontium compounds dissolve in water, and others move deep into soil and groundwater; radioactive strontium has a half-life of 29 years. While low levels of stable and radioactive strontium haven't been shown to affect human health, they both can be dangerous at high doses.

* Aluminum (white): Since aluminum is the most abundant metal in Earth's crust -- and one of humanity's most widely used -- avoiding exposure is almost impossible. Virtually all food, water, air and soil contain some amount of aluminum -- the average adult eats about 7 to 9 milligrams of the silvery-white metal every day in food. It's generally safe at these levels, but it can affect the brain and lungs at higher concentrations.

* Copper (blue): Fireworks' blue hues are produced by copper compounds. These aren't very toxic on their own, but the copper jump-starts the formation of dioxins when perchlorates in the fireworks burn....

The most noted health effect of dioxin exposure is chloracne, a severe skin disease with acne-like lesions mostly on the face and upper body. Dioxin doesn't stop there, though -- the World Health Organization has identified it as a human carcinogen, and it's also been shown to disrupt hormone production and glucose metabolism.

* Barium (green): Fish and other aquatic organisms can accumulate barium, which means it can move up the food chain. The silvery-white metal naturally bonds with other elements to form a variety of compounds that all have different effects -- none are known to be carcinogenic, but they can cause gastrointestinal problems and muscular weakness when exposure exceeds EPA drinking water standards.

* Rubidium (purple): This soft, silvery metal is one of the most abundant elements on Earth. It burns purple, melts to a liquid at 104 degrees Fahrenheit and is highly reactive with water, capable of igniting fires even far below the freezing point.

It hasn't been reported to cause any major environmental damage, but it can cause skin irritation since it's so reactive with moisture, and it's moderately toxic when ingested, reportedly able to replace calcium in bones (PDF).

* Cadmium (various): Used to produce a wide range of fireworks colors, this mineral is also a known human carcinogen. Breathing high levels of cadmium can seriously damage the lungs, and consuming it can fluster the stomach, often resulting in vomiting and diarrhea.

- (Standards Editor Brent Jones)

Posts: 48021 | From Tree House | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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- -common-sounds/

How Loud Is Too Loud?: Decibel levels of common sounds

. . . Fireworks are loud, up to 162 dB. Which can cause permanent hearing loss. . . .


A hairdryer is about 100 decibels (100 dB). Other considerations:

Examples of Loud Noise: above 80-85 decibel level can cause permanent hearing damage

65-70 decibels...normal speech

(2 hours of video game arcade, or similar level.., can do damage)

(1/2 hour of exposure to 100 decibels will cause damage)

110 decibels...jackhammers

110 decibels...personal stereo

over 110 decibels...rock concert

130 decibels....jet planes on takeoff


Drummer World

. . . Just because you have hearing protection in/on, you can still get hearing damage from bone conduction. . . .



. . . The bone conduction path is approximately 40 dB done from the direct ear path . . . .


** Remember that many medicines lower the decibel (dB) level at which sound can permanently damage ears. **

Ear plugs WITH dB-rated muffs (like you use for mowing the lawn or vacuuming) can help but, in light of bone conduction, it's still best to watch some distance from the main stage and where reverberation is low.

If you find that, even with ear plugs and muffs, it is just too loud and you can't make a quick get-a-way, take in a big breath and hold your nose and place some fingers over sinus bones and as much of the jaw bone as possible. This can help to soften the decibel ring from sinus bones. Obviously, this can't be done for long but in a barrage of noise such as with the finale, this may help.

Wearing a densely padded hat may help just a bit to lessen the noise impact through the scull vibration.

All infants, toddlers, and children should wear dB-rated muffs when in the main seating area during the blasts. Muffs offer extra protection by covering more of the bone around the ear and some of the jaw.

Then, tomorrow, perhaps we can all approach our local governments to propel some changes to lower the decibel levels, maybe looking at the way Disney sets theirs off so as to be quieter - or starting laser light shows. It's just better for everyone when hearing damage can be avoided. There are ways to have light, color, excitement and still keep one's hearing and balance center safe.

I have also read of smokeless fireworks. They do make them. Don't know about invisible chemicals but it's worth looking into this for the sake of everyone's lungs.

Another consideration is that adrenaline surges can contribute to hearing loss, as well, and especially to tinnitus and hyperacusis. Since many with lyme have endocrine/adrenal dysfunction, this adrenaline can be much more pronounced and cause more trouble. Stress (either good or bad) can cause cortisol surges.

So, be sure to have your adrenal support in place. Don't get overtired if planning to watch fireworks, even if from the next hill.


Hearing Loss Help

. . . triggers of tinnitus. . . .

. . . Extra adrenaline surges through our arteries giving us more strength to fight or flee . . . .


Most lyme patients know that alcohol is not allowed at all at any time during treatment (including holidays). But, just a reminder that - for your friends who don't have lyme and may tossing back a few brews - if they then sit themselves right under the fireworks, they are much more likely to experience damage to their ears.

The stress on their liver creates a more toxic experience for the ears and, therefore, they are more susceptible to damage. Similar to why is is that certain drugs significantly lower the threshold / dB level at which noise damage can occur (as explained in Bauman's book "Ototoxic Drugs").

Just as friends don't let friends drive drunk (or text and drive), nor do friends let friends go without ear plugs/muffs in such situations. Pack extra ear plugs to share. Grab all the ear muffs from your garage.

Love yourself; love your ears. Love others; love their ears.

Celebration of Independence day should not put anyone's independence at risk. We need our ears to read, write, walk, talk, and think - and not puck daily (or have constant nausea) from constant vertigo.

Without good inner ears - our ability to even be in any kind of relationship is greatly diminished. I've not even been able to go out socially in years - and even having friends over is just too much for my ears / balance system.

I can't even eat a meal with another person. It's been years since I could sit down at a meal with anyone. So, if I seem extreme, there are reasons for that. Now, if my hearing were just shot, I could learn sign language. But, when hearing is damaged and is too sensitive to the point seizing if someone click their spoon to a coffee mug - it creates even more loneliness.

I recall the last fireworks I could enjoy. I stood on a bridge, about a football field's distance from the barges where the fireworks were being launched. I don't recall if I used ear plugs but, at that point in time, and where I stood, it was not an issue for me. I never missed Fireworks (although I never could handle loud concerts after hearing damage from a warmup band - Blue Oster Cult - at a Heart Concert way back in the late 70's).

Back to the 1993 Fireworks that so enjoyed. I did not notice ear damage then - or even the next day. But, I was having seizures from even the slightest sounds by the time the seasons changed.

Life as I knew it was over. Still is.

It would be hard to know how much was untreated lyme, babesia and ehrlichia (not to mention 4 other chronic stealth infections) that went undiagnosed for years. It's also hard to know how much damage some medicines did to my ears. In retrospect, nothing seems as pivotal as the last of many Fireworks displays.

Standing on that bridge, with a lively crowd back in 1993 was the last time I did not want to just die on July 4th - from the torture of noise and vibration. The booms are getting far more intense these past couple of years.

Even miles away, several different municipalities around me nearly blast me out of the water - or off my bed - even with ear plugs and muffs. The errant firecrackers outside my window during this whole "season" don't help, either.

No one should have that kind of torture. It can be avoided. As a country, we have failed to protect our hearing. And that is nothing to celebrate.

Even if hearing, itself, goes, auditory and cranial nerve damage can affect so much about our whole ear system - and damage to that can just blast life as we know it out of the water. It's not just deafening, sometimes, as damage can work disaster in so many ways.

Here's a look at all the things our entire ear system does for us or, rather, what happens when that is compromised:



Wild tour of the ear - how noise damages hearing

One minute video ``tour''


Deafening Sound - How Loud is Too Loud?

Fireworks listed at 162 dB


Too Loud - Discusses Digital music players and in-ear pods

Posts: 48021 | From Tree House | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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What Causes Hyperacusis?

Some first develop hyperacusis in one ear, but in most cases both ears ultimately become affected. Hyperacusis can come on slowly or suddenly. Some patients say they developed hypersensitivity to sound over a period of time.

Others may come down with hyperacusis suddenly by attending a rock concert, firing a gun, air bag deployment in their car, fireworks or any extremely loud sound. . . .

. . . This theory about hyperacusis suggests that the efferent fibers of the auditory nerve are selectively damaged while the hair cells that allow us to hear pure tones in an audiometric evaluation remain intact.

Some have said that it involves a direct malfunction of the facial nerve; as a result, the stapedius muscle is unable to dampen sound.

Since an estimated 10% of all tinnitus patients have no measurable hearing impairment; it comes as no surprise that other ear pathologies including hyperacusis can occur in the absence of hearing loss. . . .

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