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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

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Outputs and Transfer - Research Goal 2.3:
Evaluate the effectiveness of hearing protection devices against impulsive noise

Research efforts on hearing protection devices and its effectiveness against impulsive noise have been presented at national and international professional conferences and published in a variety of peer-review journals.

The HLR program and the NHCA co-sponsored a “Best Practices Workshop on Impulsive Noise and Its Effects on Hearing” in 2003. A peer-reviewed publication on the summary and findings was published in the Noise Control Engineering Journal.[51]

NIOSH published two HHE reports for the Fort Collins Police Services49  and for the Immigration and Naturalization Service, National Firearms Unit. The reports provided recommendations on the selection and use of appropriate hearing protection devices to limit exposure of law enforcement officers to harmful impulsive sound levels.

NIOSH updated its Electronic HPD Compendium to include information about attenuation of hearing protection devices against impulsive noise.

Scientists in the HLR program published two peer-reviewed papers in occupational and engineering journals.[52], [53]

Intermediate Outcomes

The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service has  disseminated NIOSH recommendations on appropriate use and selection of hearing protection devices among all National Firearms Units that are responsible for training more than 19,000 officers, the largest nonmilitary armed force in the Federal government. Additionally, the Department of Energy (DOE), Oak Ridge National Laboratory is implementing NIOSH HPD recommendations for DOE law enforcement personnel.

>> View What's Ahead for this Research Subgoal


NIOSH Publications

Tubbs, RL, Murphy, WJ. [2003]. NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluation Report: HETA #2002-0131-2898 Fort Collins Police Services, Fort Collins, Colorado. DHHS-CDC-NIOSH, March [2003].


Murphy WJ [2003]. Deriving a new NRR from ANSI S12.6B method, inter-laboratory reproducibility of data and precision of the data. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Workshop on Hearing Protector Devices, Washington DC, March 27 – 28.


Franks JR, Harris DA, Johnson JL, Murphy WJ [1999]. Alternative field methods of measuring hearing protector performance. Abstracts of the Midwinter Meeting of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology.



Murphy WJ, Franks JR, Behar A. [2004]. Hearing protector labeling for active noise reduction devices. Acoustical Society of America San Diego CA, November 18.

Murphy WJ. [2004]. Evaluation of Level-dependent Hearing Protection Devices for Use with Impulsive Noises. American Industrial Hygiene Conference 2004 Noise Symposium, Atlanta GA, May 9.

Murphy WJ. [2004]. Evaluation of Level-dependent Hearing Protection Devices for Use with Impulsive Noises. National Hearing Conservation Association, Seattle WA, Feb 21.

Murphy WJ. [2003]. Peak reductions of nonlinear hearing protection devices. National Hearing Conservation Association/NIOSH Best Practices Workshop on Impulse Noise, Cincinnati, OH April 7-8.

Murphy WJ, Kardous CA. [2003]. Attenuation measurements of linear and nonlinear hearing protectors for impulse noise. J. Acoust. Soc. Am., Vol. 113 No. 4 Pt.2, 2195.

Kardous CA, Murphy WJ, Willson RD. [2003]. Personal noise exposure assessment from small firearms. J. Acoust. Soc. Am., Vol. 113 No. 4 Pt.2, 2195.

Franks JR, Murphy WJ. [2002]. Do sound restoration hearing protectors provide adequate attenuation for gunfire noise. J. Acoust. Soc. Am., Vol. 112 No. 5 Pt. 2, 2294.

Murphy WJ, Little MB. [2002]. Performance of Electroacoustic Hearing Protectors,” J. Acoust. Soc. Am., Vol. 111 Pt. 5, 2336.


[51] Kardous CA, Franks JR, Davis RR [2005]. NIOSH/NHCA Best practices workshop on impulsive noise. Noise Control Engineering Journal, 53 (2) 53-60.

[52] Kardous, CA, Willson, RD, Hayden, CS, Szlapa, P, Murphy, WJ, and Reeves, ER, [2003]. “Noise Exposure Assessment and Abatement Strategies at an Indoor firing range.” Appl. Occup. Env. Hyg. 18, 629-636.

[53] Kardous CA, Willson RD, Murphy WJ [2005]. – Noise Dosimeter for Monitoring Exposure to Impulse Noise. Applied Acoustics Journal, 66 (2005) 974-985.


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