an african american woman smiles while using her phone on the subway

Is the Subway Bad for My Hearing?

Because so many of us in the five boroughs depend on the subway for day-to-day travel, it’s an important question. Recently, Andrew J. Guralnick, a master’s student at Baruch College who is also an intern at the Hearing Health Foundation (HHF), conducted a study to determine the answer. He gave his findings in this HHF blog post.

Based on a random sampling collected between January and August 2018 on platforms and in subway cars, the results show that decibel levels are well above the U.S. EPA-recommended safe level of 70 decibels. In fact, per Guralnick, “with maximum readings actually as high as 119 dB on platforms and 120 dB on rides — based on actual recorded data within the sample — the NYC subway is likely an auditory minefield.”

Are you only too familiar with MetroCards? If you are, and you’re worried about the toll your hearing has taken, contact us to schedule an appointment!