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Rehearsal sound levels in band rooms and hearing sensitivities of public school band directors.

Eaton BL; Greenberg HJ
Proceedings: 1992 hearing conservation conference, April 1-4, 1992. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, task order 91-37982, 1992 Apr; :85-88
The effects of rehearsal sound levels in band rooms of public schools on the hearing sensitivities of band directors were studied, and the sound levels in the band rooms were compared with OSHA's Hearing Conservation Standards for industrial exposure. Thirteen public school band directors, aged 33 to 48 years and average experience of 14.4 years, participated in the study. They were tested for hearing thresholds using pure tone audiometry after a rest interval from noise exposure for a period over 14 hours. Sound level meters were used on each participant to monitor noise exposure during the week. Results showed that 14 rehearsals yielded an average of 92.8 decibels (dBA) during the times the bands were actually playing, with maximum recorded noise of 104dBA, and during nonplaying times, the average was 70.2dBA. Pure tone findings indicated that there were patterns typical of noise induced hearing loss (NIHL), in that ten of 13 subjects (77%) had at least one ear which met noise induced permanent threshold shift criteria. The authors conclude that even though the noise doses are acceptable for an industrial environment, the incidence rates were very high for sensorineural hearing loss, with a configuration consistent with NIHL.
Audiometry; Employee-exposure; Hearing-disorders; Musicians; Occupational-exposure; Occupational-hazards; Sensory-disorders; Teaching
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Proceedings: 1992 hearing conservation conference, April 1-4, 1992
Page last reviewed: February 25, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division