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Around 1 billion youth at risk of hearing loss due to loud music

 - Health & Fitness - Nov 17 SHARE ON:
Around 1 billion youth at risk of hearing loss due to loud music

It is very common, a study published this week by the journal BMJ Global Health, that adolescents listen to music and other media for too long and too loudly. 

CNN was informed by WHO consultant and lead study author Lauren Dillard that an estimated 0.67 to 1.35 billion individuals aged 12 to 34 worldwide likely engage in unsafe listening practices. 

Exposure to sound at too high a volume can fatigue the sensory cells and structures within the ear. If this persists for extended periods of time, they can suffer permanent damage.

This can entail everything from hearing loss to tinnitus, with researchers observing the trend through a meta-analysis of scientific articles published between 2000 and 2001. 

The unsafe practices were tracked according to headphone use but also included attendance at entertainment venues such as concerts or clubs. The US CDC limits safe noise levels at around 85 decibels over 40 hours a week. 

If one listens for only 2.5 hours a day, that is equivalent to around 92 decibels. Listeners using audio files on phones often choose to listen to volumes as high as 105 decibels, and venues often range from 104 to 112 decibels. 

A ringing in the ear is often a good sign that music is too loud. To prevent this, maybe you should pay attention to that often annoying notification on your phone warning against loud noise. 

If you’re at a concert, standing as far away from speakers and taking breaks could help. Ear protection, such as ear plugs, can also help tremendously. You don’t have to swear off music (who would?), you just need to be more mindful of excess noise. 

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Black Lives Matter protest in front of parliament this Saturday

 - Local - Nov 17 SHARE ON:
Black Lives Matter protest in front of parliament this Saturday

A Black Lives Matter protest has been called for this Saturday at 6pm in front of the Maltese parliament in Valletta. 

‘Where’s The Respect? There Is No Us Without Them’ the slogan of the protest reads. Taking to social media, Black Lives Matter Malta said that ‘Every week we learn of yet another incident of racial violence, often at the hands of those entrusted with a responsibility and duty to protect. Enough is enough!’

BLM Malta, along with a number of other NGOs, will be organising a demonstration this Saturday 19th November at 6pm as a reaction to the ongoing and regular incidences of racial violence and abuse of power against people of colour. 

All members of the Maltese society, regardless of background or origin, deserve to be respected, and to feel safe in their community’ the statement concluded. 

The protest is being held following the recent incident which saw two Transport Malta officials attacking a dark-skinned man lying on the ground. This also follows a recent fine administered to a black Uber driver for being improperly dressed despite not having a dress code. 

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NGO proposes increasing bottle recycling deposit to 25c from 10c

 - Local - Nov 17 SHARE ON:
NGO proposes increasing bottle recycling deposit to 25c from 10c

Environmental NGO ‘Friends of the Earth’ Malta proposed reforming the recently applied bottle recycling scheme by upping the deposit from 10c to 25c per bottle. 

In their statement welcoming the ‘Beverage Container Refund Scheme’, the NGO hopes that the system is fine tuned as time goes on and new proposals can be taken aboard.

The third proposal states that ‘deposit for each bottle should be more than 10c. A rate of 25c for container is more adequate since it will increase return rates of containers.’

The statement announced 7 other proposals to be considered, with one of them being including all possible beverage containers such as wine, spirits, liquors, etc. 

The scheme should also be extended, the NGO stated, to other packaging such as glass jars, plastic containers of food items that are not beverages and other plastic containers of liquid products such as liquid soap. 

Meanwhile, Reverse Vending Machines should be introduced at a higher density in localities in Malta, as well as more incentives given to people who opt refilling containers. 

Read full proposals here.

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Abortion to be legal in Malta if woman’s health is in serious risk

 - Health & Fitness - Nov 17 SHARE ON:
Abortion to be legal in Malta if woman’s health is in serious risk

Health Minister Chris Fearne revealed on Wednesday that legislative amendments will be tabled in parliament next week to allow doctors to terminate pregnancies which pose serious health risks for a woman’s health or life. 

The Deputy Prime Minister described the reform as a ‘pro-life’ position and it follows the recent incident wherein an American tourist was refused the termination of a non-viable pregnancy. 

Fearne said that the State Advocate had analysed the Maltese legal regime to identify legal loopholes which need addressing following the aforementioned case. 

The Andrea Prudente case cast Malta into an International spotlight once again when it comes to the topic of abortion due to its blanket ban on the practice. 

The legal amendment will see a new clause presented in the law which will establish that no offence would have been committed if the death of the foetus was the result of medical intervention carried out when the mother’s life or health were at risk. 

With Fearne saying that the reform is to safeguard women’s health, the announcement was welcomed by pro-choice activists. Seeing it as a necessary first step, activists said that the reform does not go far enough and will continue to push for further reform. 


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