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NIOSH - National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
NIOSH Hearing Loss Research Program Review NIOSH Publications on Noise and Hearing The National Academies - Advisors to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine

What has the program achieved?

In this section ....

Research Goal 1

Research Goal 2

Research Goal 3

Research Goal 4

HLR Databases

Acronym Finder

Outputs and Transfer - Research Goal 1.1:
Develop criteria and recommendations for preventing
occupational hearing loss

NIOSH published two major criteria documents, “Criteria for a Recommended Standard: Occupational Exposure to Noise,” in 1972 and 1998. The 1972 document was the first national guideline for addressing the risk of occupational hearing loss. It also provided guidelines for establishing a comprehensive hearing conservation program: (1) noise exposure monitoring, including individual exposure measurements when necessary, (2) engineering and administrative controls to eliminate/reduce the hazard, or remove the worker, respectively, (3) audiometric monitoring, (4) personal hearing protection devices, (5) training, (6) recordkeeping, and (7) program evaluation.

Between 2002 and 2004, HLR staff responded to DOL and DOT Advanced Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) for hearing conservation standards. The responses included updating NIOSH recommendations about audiometric monitoring and the application of age corrections when computing threshold shifts.

The HLR program also disseminates its research results and promotes its recommendations to academic, professional, technical and government arenas.

Intermediate Outcomes

Most of the recommendations in the 1972 criteria document were subsequently adopted by OSHA in what is now referred to as the OSHA Hearing Conservation Amendment (29 CFR 1910.95). The 1972 recommendations were also used in other hearing conservation guidelines (e.g., the 1973 U.S.AF Regulation 161-35, Hazardous Noise Exposure). In response to specific HLR program recommendations about the need to record and monitor occupational hearing loss, OSHA implemented new requirements for recording occupational hearing loss on the OSHA log 300 (29 CFR 1904.10). These recordability requirements were adopted in 2004, and were largely based on extensive technical support provided by HLR scientists. This established the first broad-based means for tracking occupational hearing loss.

According to a 2005 report by the IOM on hearing loss and tinnitus in the military, recommendations from the 1998 NIOSH guidelines were used as the basis for the current DOD requirements for military hearing loss prevention programs (DODI 6055.12, March, 2004).

In 2003, AAA published its position statement on preventing occupational hearing loss. This document, drafted by HLR program researchers, established the occupational hearing loss prevention clinical strategies and professional practices for the more than 8,000 audiologists in the U.S.

The criteria recommended in 1998 by the HLR program will continue to influence national hearing loss prevention policies and standards. From 2002 to the present, OSHA has requested technical assistance from the HLR program regarding its advance notice of proposed rulemaking for a new hearing conservation program for the construction industry. In 2004-2005, NIOSH initiated a technical consultation effort with the DOT in response to its 2004 advance notice of proposed rulemaking for a Federal Railroad Administration hearing loss prevention program for railroad engineers. We also provided technical support to California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA), DOI, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as these agencies initiated efforts to develop new hearing loss prevention programs for California construction workers, national park service employees, and FAA field inspectors, respectively.

Since 2003, more than 21,000 visits have been recorded to the 1998 Criteria Document on the NIOSH Web site. In addition, the following number of requestors asked for one or more copies of the 1998 criteria document between 2000 and 2004:

Foreign                173

Industry                384

Government        66

Research             115

Academia             65

Other                     344

>> View What's Ahead for this Research Subgoal

Publications:
NIOSH Numbered Publications

NIOSH [1972]. Criteria for a recommended standard: occupational exposure to noise. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHEW (NIOSH) Publication No. HSM 73-ll00l.

NIOSH [1975a]. Statistical methods for the determination of noncompliance with occupational health standards. Cincinnati, OH:  U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHEW (NIOSH) Publication No. 75-159.

NIOSH [1975b]. Exposure measurement action level and occupational environmental variability. Cincinnati, OH:  U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHEW (NIOSH) Publication No. 76-131.

NIOSH [1977]. Occupational exposure sampling strategy manual. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHEW (NIOSH) Publication No. 77-173.

NIOSH [1998]. Criteria for a recommended standard: occupational exposure to noise. Revised criteria 1998. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 98–126.

Journal Articles

Dunn DE, Morata TC [1997]. Industrial noise and hearing conservation. Current Opinion in Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery 5(5):330-333.

Fernandes M, Morata T [2002]. Auditory and extra auditory effects of occupational exposure to noise and vibration (in Portuguese). Rev Bras Otorrinolarin 68(5):705-713.

Henderson D, Morata TC, Hamernik R [2001]. Considerations on assessing the risk of work-related hearing loss. Noise and Health 3(10):63-75.

Morata TC [1998]. Assessing occupational hearing loss: beyond noise exposure. Scan Aud 27 (Suppl. 48):111-116.

Morata TC [1999]. Is it still necessary to conduct research on noise-induced hearing loss? Noise and Health 2:3-6.

Morata TC, Franks JR, Dunn DE [1994]. Unmet needs in occupational hearing conservation. The Lancet 344(8920):479.

Morata TC, Lemasters GK [1995]. Epidemiologic considerations in the evaluation of occupational hearing loss. Occupational Medicine: State of the Art Reviews 10(3):641-656. Hanley and Belfus, Inc., Philadelphia. (Three known citations)

Prince, MM. [2005]. Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors and Hearing Loss. Chapter in:  Annuals of Public Health. [Invited submission; In review; To be Published in 2005].

Prince MM, Gilbert SJ, Smith RJ, Stayner, LT [2003]. Evaluation of the risk of noise-induced hearing loss among unscreened male industrial workers. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 113(2) 871-880.

Prince, MM [2002]. Distribution of risk factors for hearing loss:  Implications for evaluating risk of occupational noise-induced hearing loss. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 112(2): 557-567.

Prince MM, Stayner LT, Smith RJ, Gilbert SJ [1998]. Response to " Comments on A re-examination of risk estimates from the NIOSH occupational noise and hearing survey," [ J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 103, 2734 (1998)]. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 103(5):2736-2739.

Prince MM, Stayner LT, Smith RJ, Gilbert SJ [1997]. A re-examination of risk estimates from the NIOSH Occupational Noise and Hearing Survey. J Acoust Soc of Am 101(2): 950-963. (12 known citations)

Prince MM, Smith RJ, Gilbert SJ, Stayner, LT [1995]. An examination of longitudinal hearing conservation databases for evidence of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Proceedings of the Sixth FIOH-NIOSH Joint Symposium on Occupational Health and Safety, 8-10 August 1995, Espoo, Finland, ed. H. Nordman, J. Starck, A. Tossavainen, and E. Viikari-Junura, pp. 12-16.

Prince MM, Stayner LT, Smith RJ [1993]. A reanalysis of the NIOSH of the Occupational Noise and Hearing Survey (ONHS):  Issues regarding estimation of risk of noise-induced hearing loss. Proceedings of the 6th International Congress on Noise as a Public Health Problem, Volume 1. Nice, France, 5-9 July, 1993 pp. 40-45.

Book/Chapters/Proceedings/Abstracts

Azevedo A, Morata TC, Okamoto V, Santos UP [1994]. Noise: a public health problem (in Portuguese). In: Buschinelli T, Rocha LE, Rigotto RM, eds.Isto é trabalho de gente? Vida, doença e trabalho no Brasil. Editora Vozes, São Paulo, pp.403-435.

Costa EA, Morata TC, Kitamura S [2003]. Work Related Ear Pathology (in Portuguese: Patologia do ouvido relacionada com o trabalho). In: Mendes R, Rene, Patologia do Trabalho. Editora Atheneu: São Paulo, pp.1253-1282.

Morata TC. Environmental and Occupational Contributors to Hearing Disorders. In: Levy B, Wegman D, eds. Occupational and Environmental Health: Recognizing and Preventing Disease and Injury. 5th Edition.

Morata TC, Lemasters G [2001]. Epidemiology and occupational hearing loss (in Portuguese). In: Nudelmann AA, Costa EA, Seligman J, Ibañez RN. PAIR - Perda auditiva induzida pelo ruído. Vol.II. Livraria e Editora Revinter, Rio de Janeiro. pp.1-16.

NIOSH [1973]. The industrial environment - its evaluation and control. Cincinnati, OH:  U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHEW (NIOSH) Publication No. 74-117, pp. 533-562.

NIOSH [2004]. Comments of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Administration on the Proposed Rule, Hearing Conservation Program for Construction Workers, 29 CFR Part 1926. Docket No. H-011G. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. November 1.

NIOSH [2004]. Comments of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health on the Federal Railroad Administration Proposed Rule Occupational Noise Exposure for Railroad Operating Employees, 49 CFR Parts 227 and 229 Docket No. FRA 2002-12357, Notice No. 1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. September 14.

OSHA, 29 CFR Part 1904.10 [2002]. Occupational Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting for Hearing Loss (July 1).

Santos UP, Morata TC [1994]. Effects of noise on hearing (in Portuguese). In: Santos UP, ed. Ruido: Riscos e Prevenção. Editora Hucitec, São Paulo, pp.43-53.

Stephenson MR [1995]. Noise Exposure Characterization via Task-based Analysis. Proceedings of Hearing Conservation Conference III/XX - Reaching out for underserved workers: Strategies for the next century. Milwaukee: National Hearing Conservation Association, Spectrum, Vol 2 (suppl).

Stephenson MR [2000]. Developing a Hearing Loss Prevention Program for Construction Workers. Proceedings of National Conference on Best Practices for Preventing Hearing Loss in the Construction Trades, AFL-CIO Building Construction Trades Department; Mar 30-31; Washington D.C.

Presentations:

Conferences

Morata TC. Advances in Research on Hearing Loss Prevention Presentation. 18th International Audiology Meeting, Curitiba, Brazil, April 11-13, 2003.

Morata TC. Occupational strategies in the prevention of noise-induced hearing loss [1997]. Informal Consultation on the Prevention of Hearing Loss, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, October 28-30.

Morata TC. Overview of recent advances in noise research 4th Northeast Seminar of the Brazilian Occupational Medicine Association, Recife, Brazil, August, 1997.

Morata TC. Report on Noise-Induced Hearing Loss form the South American Region [1997]. Informal Consultation on the Prevention of Hearing Loss, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, October 28-30.

Morata TC. Research in Occupational Health. Presentation at the Meeting of the Miami Valley Association for Women in Science, in Cincinnati, OH, October 16, 2003.

Prince MM, [2004]. “Noise Exposure Sampling Strategies:  Exposure-response models for hearing loss,” Short Course on Hearing Loss Prevention. Montreal, Quebec, Canada, September 30, 2004.

Prince MM [2003]. Predicting noise-induced hearing loss in human populations. The contribution of the ISO-1999 and ANSI S3.44 standards. J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 113(4), Pt 2: 12.

Prince MM, [2001]. “An Epidemiologic Approach to Hearing Loss Risk Evaluation and Noise Exposure Assessment,” 26th Annual National Hearing Conservation Association Conference, Raleigh-Durham, NC; February 22-24,  2001.

Prince MM [1997]. Variation in estimates of excess risk among screened and unscreened populations. Acoustical Society of America, 134th meeting, San Diego, California, December 1-5, 1997. J. Acoustical Society of America, 102: 3277. 

Prince MM, Smith RJ, Gilbert SJ, Stayner LT [1996]. Issues in Longitudinal Analysis of Hearing Conservation Data Bases. 3rd Joint American Acoustical Society and Japanese Acoustical Society Meeting, Honolulu, Hawaii, December, 1996. J. Acoustical Society of America 100:2675.

Prince MM, [1995]. “An examination of longitudinal hearing conservation databases for evidence of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL),” 6th Annual Joint NIOSH-FIOH Symposium on Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland; August 1995.

Smith RJ, Prince MM, Gilbert, SJ, Stayner, LT [1997]. A meta-analysis of longitudinal data from hearing conservation programs for evidence of noise-induced hearing. 1997 Symposium on Statistical Methods. Statistical Bases for Public Health Decision Making:  From Exploration to Modeling, Atlanta, GA. 6th biennial CDC/ATSDR Symposium on Statistical Methods. Jan. 28-30, 1997, page 87.

Stephenson MR. Preventing Occupational Hearing Loss Among Carpenters. OSHA Annual Consultation Conference, Salt Lake City, UT, April 27-28, 2004.

Stephenson MR. Preventing Occupational Hearing Loss: An Overview. Federal Aviation Administration Occupational Safety and Health Conference, Atlanta, GA, June 25, 2003.

Stephenson MR. Preventing Occupational Hearing Loss: An Overview. OSHA Regional Industrial Hygiene Conference, Newport, RI, March 9, 2004.

Stephenson MR. The NIOSH Revised Criteria for Occupational Noise Exposure. Hearing Conservation, Military Audiology Association, Norfolk, VA, February 2, 2000.

Stephenson MR. The Role of Government in Preventing Occupational Hearing Loss. Congressional Hearing Health Caucus, Washington, D.C., September 29, 2004.

Stephenson MR, Berger EH, Hager LD, Johnson DL, Lankford JE, Meinke DK, Nadler NB, Ohlin D, Stephenson CM. American Academy of Audiology Position Statement: Preventing Occupational Noise-Induced Hearing Loss. American Academy of Audiology, Reston, VA, October, 2003.

Stephenson MR, Stephenson CM. Practical Guidelines for Prevention Occupational Hearing Loss. U.S. Dept. of Interior National Safety and Health Seminar, Seattle, WA, April 26, 2001.

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