Hearing DamageIn the June 24 Today section of The Sun...


July 12, 1995

Hearing Damage

In the June 24 Today section of The Sun, writer David Kronke provides a brief "listening lesson." Unfortunately, the lesson is scientifically inaccurate and can lead to unrealized risk of hearing damage.

Numerous national and international studies have been conducted to determine hearing damage susceptibility and these have resulted in governmental standards.

Assuming that the writer is referring to A-weighted sound level, commonly called sound level, he is misleading the readers by stating that noise must be at levels of 130 to 180 decibels to be harmful.

In reality, the maximum safe exposure level for as little as a quarter hour a day is 115 decibels.

In addition to that error, it should be pointed out that normal conversational sound level is about 65 decibels, not 75 as stated in the article.

Louis A. Herstein III


The writer is a fellow of the Acoustical Society of America.

Insult to Truckers

I found the cartoon featured on the editorial page (The Sun, June 22) very offensive. This cartoon depicts all truck drivers as druggies with no consideration for public safety. I am a professional tractor-trailer driver. I consider public safety a top priority, as does my employer.

We are tested for drugs and alcohol, and, if any are present in our systems, we are suspended or fired. However, under no circumstances would we be allowed to drive a truck.

There are good and bad in every occupation. We have politicians who take bribes, white-collar crime is at an all-time high, police officers who look the other way while a crime is being committed as long as their palms are being greased.

Yes, there are some truck drivers who break the law and drive longer than they should, putting the public at risk. There are also some drivers who take drugs to stay awake. However, I assure you that these are in the minority.

The trucking industry has cleaned up its act quite a bit. Drivers are required to take safety courses and physicals yearly. Trucks are stopped on the highway and checked for mechanical faults.

Truck drivers are not uneducated low-lifes. There are some well educated individuals who drive for a living; to insinuate that we are all a bunch of drug-popping fools is an insult to those drivers who do obey the rules of the road.

I feel that you owe the truck drivers of American an apology. Think about us the next time you go to the store for groceries, clothing, etc. We are the ones getting the goods delivered for you.

Someone should do a story on the good truck drivers, the ones who do obey the laws and do care about public safety.

Maybe you should do an article on the drivers in cars who cut in front of us and cause many of the accidents that trucks are involved in.

Public safety is a two-way street. People forget that you can't stop an 18-wheeler in the same amount of time that you can stop a car.

Yet people continue to pull out in front of us, or cut us off. However, when an accident occurs it is the truck driver who is made to feel like scum.

I sincerely hope that you correct the erroneous image that this cartoon projects about truckers. It is an honest living with a lot of caring people.

Brian Hollingsworth

Bel Air

Kids' TV

As a teacher and counselor, I applaud your July 4 editorial, "Kids' TV and Purple Dinosaurs."

Your words, "Too often nothing shapes a toddler's brain so much as the square box with the bright lights . . . a passive medium incapable of fostering imaginary play, interpersonal skills and physical development," provide a succinct and critically important alert to families with young children.

Maryland Public Television president Raymond K.K. Ho also deserves praise and gratitude for his efforts in conflict resolution. However, it is your final sentence which calls us all to action for our children.

In our global village all children are our children, deserving of our time and our resources.

Jen Hobbins


Seasonal Music

Now that WJHU-FM has largely abandoned its classical music format, we are left in Baltimore with only WBJC-FM for classical music.

It would be desirable, therefore, if WBJC would become a real classical musical station instead of a light classical one. A person who has received his classical music education solely from WBJC would have to be forgiven if he thought that all Mozart ever composed were a few opera overtures, that Brahms wrote only some Hungarian dances and that Johann Strauss Jr. was a major classical music composer.

I don't expect to hear any Shostakovich, Schoenberg or even Mahler on the radio (although most Mahler symphonies have a "pretty" movement suitable for easy listening), but is there some reason we can't hear chamber music occasionally?

And please, let's have a moratorium on all of Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" for at least one year.

Henry Cohen


Quinn on Student Loans

Jane Bryant Quinn (June 12) intimates that the federal government's new direct loan consolidation program is a great deal for consumers who are repaying federally-sponsored loans for college.

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