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Review, Summarization, And Evaluation Of Literature To Support The Update And Revision Of Criteria Documents. IX. Noise.

Maclachlan-I; Galson-AE; Santodonato-J
NIOSH 1977 Dec:95 pages
Hazards associated with noise are reviewed and evaluated. Noise is one of the most prevalent occupational contaminants involving almost every industry. The use of sound meters, which provide sound pressure readings but cannot accurately model the ballistic performance of the ear or sum up the loudness in the manner of the basilar membrane of the ear, may soon be replaced by oscilloscopes which enable impulse noise analysis. The physiology of hearing is discussed. Hearing loss due to high frequency noises, age, disease, vibration, smoking, and respiratory distress are mentioned. Employees exposed to steady state noise for 8 hours per day will suffer little hearing loss if the noise level is 80 decibels (dB), but a significant amount of loss if the level is 90dB. The three major categories of physical measures of noise (sound level, frequency, and duration) seem to indicate that the level and the frequency may be responsible for hazards. Individual variations in people also contribute to differences in tolerance. The problem is finding a standard which is not too costly and does not increase the risk of hearing impairment. The use of audiometry identifies workers who are developing severe hearing loss. When an employee is discovered to have great hearing loss for his age it is suggested he be removed from the exposure or wear hearing protection. The authors identify areas needing further research ranging from noise abatement systems to the adverse effects of noise on the fetus.
NIOSH-Contract; Exposure-levels; Noise-exposure; Industrial-exposures; Occupational-exposure; Ear-disorders; Safety-research; Safety-measures; Contract-210-76-0167;
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NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Rockville, Maryland
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division