During the 36th annual meeting of the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA), held in Mesa, Arizona in February, 2011, a diverse population of individuals (including audiologists, industrial hygienists, physicians, scientists, engineers, and many others) came together to discuss current advances in hearing loss prevention. The theme for this conference, ' Innovation & Technology, ' was selected to specifically highlight novel approaches to hearing conservation within various companies, emerging technologies that can help advance the mission of hearing conservation, and pioneering research that holds promise for the future. This is the second year in which the International Journal of Audiology (IJA) has published a supplemental issue providing a complete description of an invited subset of the NHCA conference presentations. Consistent with the established standards of the journal, all submissions have been peer reviewed by at least two outside, expert reviewers. This supplement begins with an article by Gregory Flamme and colleagues describing the full spectrum of noise sources in daily life and their contribution to overall exposure. While many of the noise sources described in this paper have been previously documented by other studies, most prior work has been limited to individual sources, such as data for a single worksite or for a single type of sound (e.g. the recent reports on exposures as a function of music player use). This report is unique in that it addresses the distribution of total sound sources in daily life, and identifies significant factors associated with differences in daily average sound levels. Attitudes and behaviors towards risk of hearing loss from noise exposure are addressed next in this issue. Subsequent to the analysis of hearing loss prevalence data in the NHANES III and NHANES 2005-2006 databases, widespread discussion of the extent to which hearing loss in children is a current problem and whether or not it may be an increasing problem has taken place. One element of this issue is children's attitudes towards noise. In their manuscript, Keila Knobel and Maria Cecilia Lima report on attitudes towards sound exposure and noise hazard in a population of Brazilian children. Sources of noise exposure, attitudes toward noise, and understanding of and access to hearing protection devices (ear plugs) were explored. Significant differences emerged, with socioeconomic status being one of the most significant contributing factors with respect to the children's reported exposure to noise and their attitudes towards noise.
Hearing; Hearing-loss; Hearing-conservation; Hearing-protection; Noise-induced-hearing-loss; Injury-prevention; Ear-protection; Ear-protectors; Sound; Sound-attenuation; Control-methods; Noise-control; Noise-protection; Families; Children; Noise-sources; Noise-exposure; Noise-pollution; Community-noise; Impact-noise; Impulse-noise; Auditory-system; Attitude; Behavior; Risk-factors; Sociological-factors