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Measurement and Rating Methods for Real-World Performance of Hearing Protectors-FY07

NOTE: This page is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated.


  • Provide the basis for revisions of national and international testing standards hearing protector performance in the real world. NIOSH research was the basis for changes in international regulations for rating and certifying hearing protector performance.
Hearing publications

Applicable Standards

  • 29 CFR 211 Subpart B
  • 30 CFR 62

Key Partners

  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration
  • Mine Safety and Health Administration
  • International Standards Organization
  • American National Standards Institute


  • None

Project Scope

  • Hearing Loss Prevention program scientists verified the overestimates of experimenter-fit Noise Reduction Ratings (NRR) in tests of Hearing Protection Devices (HPD) in occupational settings.
  • National and international collaboration efforts of the HLR program have influenced hearing protector testing practices, performance ratings, testing standards, and regulations worldwide.


  • None


  • US Environmental Protection Agency Workshop on Hearing Protector Devices, Washington DC, March 27 - 28, 2003 Docket OAR-2003-0024.
  • MSHA [1999]. Dept of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration 30 CFR parts 56, 57 and 62, health standards for occupational noise exposure; final rule.
  • ANSI S12.6-1984 [1984]. American National Standards Institute: Methods for Measuring the Real-Ear Attenuation of Hearing Protectors. New York: American National Standards Institute.
  • Berger EH, Franks JR [1996]. The validity of predicting the field attenuation of hearing protectors from laboratory subject-fit data. J Acoust Soc Am Vol. 100 No 4 Pt 2, 2674.
  • Franks JR, Murphy WJ, Simon SD [1996]. Repeatability and reproducibility in hearing protector testing. J. Acoust Soc Am Vol 99 No 3 Pt. 2, 2464.
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration [2001]. New developments in hearing protector labeling. In OSHA Technical Manual, chapter 5. Washington, DC: OSHA Office of Science and Technology Assessment.


  • None
Page last modified: July 20, 2007
Page last reviewed: July 20, 2007 (archived document)
Content Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)