Decibels of Danger?: The Noisy Subways

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To the Editor:

It's about time some clamor was raised over the problem of noise in New York's subway tunnels ("Screeching Won't Come to Halt," news article, May 26).

Noise-induced hearing loss can be caused by a brief exposure to a loud sound, like an explosion, or by long-term exposure to sounds of lesser intensity. According to the National Institutes of Health, sounds below 75 decibels are not likely to impair hearing. As your article makes clear, subway noise can register up to 116 decibels, perhaps higher.

Considering the possibility of hearing loss for millions who ride the subway daily, we should not quietly accept this potential public health problem.