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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-86-138-2017, Memphis Fire Department, Memphis, Tennessee.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 86-138-2017, 1990 Feb; :1-24
In response to a request from the International Association of Fire Fighters, an investigation was made of possible health hazards at the Memphis Fire Department (SIC-9224) (MFD), Memphis, Tennessee. Concern focused on additional noise exposures from aircraft and its effect on the hearing ability of the fire fighters at two stations serving an airport. The MFD employed about 1,300 fire fighters assigned to 47 different stations throughout the city. Personal noise dosimetry was conducted on fire fighters at five stations over a 24 hour tour of duty. Noise dosimetry results revealed time weighted averages that ranged from 60 to 82 decibels-A (dBA). Levels encountered during code three responses with sirens and air horns reached 109dBA for a 1 minute time period. Noise exposures were slightly higher for the fire fighters at the stations near the airport. The audiometric results showed that the average Memphis fire fighter exhibited a characteristic noise induced permanent threshold shift. This hearing loss was statistically related to the amount of time which the fire fighter had been on the job with decreasing hearing ability as a function of years of service. The author concludes that a health hazard existed for these firefighters, and that a comprehensive hearing conservation program should be implemented.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-86-138-2017; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-4; Hearing-loss; Noise-induced-hearing-loss; Noise-exposure; Firemen; Author Keywords: Fire departments; including volunteer; noise exposure; hearing loss; hearing conservation
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division