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Noise exposure from leisure activities: a review.

Clark WW
J Acoust Soc Am 1991 Jul; 90(1):175-181
A review was provided which summarized the literature concerning recreational, or nonoccupational, exposure to noise. This review was limited to attendance at rock, big band or symphony concerts; music listening through headphones; noise around the home and noisy hobbies. For each type of exposure the data on noise emission by the particular source was considered along with some information about the frequency of use by typical listeners, an assessment, where possible, of the damage risk posed by the exposure and finally some statements about the quality of the studies. The data supported the following conclusions. Large caliber rifles and shotguns produced exposure levels that are sufficient to cause acoustic trauma in some individuals. Workers in noisy industries who engage in sport shooting may develop additional hearing losses due to gunfire noise over whatever loss they may sustain because of occupational exposure. It was reasonable to estimate that 50% of the industrial workers in the United States are exposed to gunfire noise from hunting or target shooting. Threshold differences between the ear ipsilateral to the firearm and contralateral to it were typically 15 decibels for high frequency stimuli and as high as 25 to 30 decibels for frequent shooters. Noise exposure from jazz concerts exceeded that from symphony concerts but fell short of that typically experienced by attendees at rock concerts. For all these kinds of music exposure, it was considered to be unlikely that an individual would be at significant risk of developing significant noise induced hearing loss from that exposure alone. For music listening through headphones, it appeared that only those listeners who prefer to listen at maximum levels for extended periods of time are at risk. One household device that has been clearly linked to noise induced hearing loss was the cordless telephone. The ring signal of several of these devices has a sound pressure level of approximately 140 decibels, which has caused damage in some individuals after a single exposure.
NIOSH-Grant; NIOSH-Publication; Noise-induced-hearing-loss; Noise-exposure; Hearing-impairment; Ear-disorders; Sensory-thresholds; Acoustical-measurements
Research Central Inst for the Deaf 818 South Euclid St Louis, MO 63110
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Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
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Central Institute for the Deaf, Saint Louis, Missouri
Page last reviewed: October 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division