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Over four million gardeners putting their hearing at risk this summer

We’re calling for all you gardeners to protect your ears when mowing the lawn, trimming hedges or using power tools!

By Lucy Straker · May 20, 2023

Now that peak gardening season is in full swing – weather permitting – we’re calling for all you gardeners to protect your ears when mowing the lawn, trimming hedges or using power tools on your patch, as our research shows only a quarter (26%) “regularly” or “sometimes” use hearing protection. This means that over 4 million gardeners in the UK are putting themselves at risk of hearing loss and tinnitus, both of which can be permanent.  

Noise becomes a risk to hearing health at levels of 80dB or above. Lawn mower sound levels vary, but they can be as high as 95dB for petrol driven models, and even higher for ride-on models. Pressure washers – a popular way of cleaning paths and patios – can reach 94dB. Hedge trimmers are even more problematic as they can be as loud as 103dB. At this level, hearing damage can occur in under 8 minutes. 

Noise exposure is the single biggest preventable cause of tinnitus, and it is clear from our research that people appear to be unaware of the risks. Even if you’re only giving your hedge a quick trim or the patio a spruce up, use hearing protection. When it’s loud… Plug’em is our very clear message. 

We know gardening to be beneficial for people’s physical and mental wellbeing, and we’d hate for people to put that at risk. People protect their cherished plants from frost and slugs – we want protecting your ears to be second nature too.  

Plug’em has more information about noise exposure and hearing protection. Our team of trained advisers are able to offer help and support on 0800 018 0527 or via live webchat – click on the icon below.

How loud is loud?

Your hearing can be damaged by sustained exposure to loud noise. But it can be difficult to know how loud a sound is and whether it can cause harm. This guide will help you understand when and how to protect your hearing .

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