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A head start on hearing loss.
Spectrum 1991 Jan; 8(2):3-6
The environmental exposure of children and young adults to hazardous levels of noise was discussed. Although government standards exist for occupational noise exposure, the need for protection from and education of the hazards of leisure related noise exposure was considered of equal importance. Sources of hazardous noise considered particularly damaging were shot guns, cap pistols, rock concerts and personal stereos, with maximum sound pressure levels of 170, 150, 103, and 115 decibels-A (dBA), respectively. A study of noise levels at three popular music concerts spanning a range of music types recorded an average level of 98dBA, 164% of the OSHA allowable dose. Temporary threshold shifts (TTS) of concert attendees, lasting from a few hours to a few days, were measured at 30dB at 4 kilohertz. The popularity of noisy environments, viewed by youth as exciting and socially equalizing, was referred to as the social noise phenomenon. Parental concern, media attention, and product liability were seen as major factors in warnings and cautionary instructions included with personal stereo and cassettes increasingly used of by children. It was noted that the individual's personal listening preferences, in terms of volume and listening time, determined the actual noise hazard. Reports of increased hearing loss with age for children, particularly boys, was discussed. The age factor in hearing loss was considered a minor contribution compared to noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) suffered by most Americans. The author concludes that more education of parents, children and young adults is necessary to reduce the incidence of NIHL.
NIOSH-Grant; Noise-induced-hearing-loss; Environmental-exposure; Age-factors; Chronic-exposure; Noise-exposure; Noise-levels; Noise-protection
Research Central Inst for the Deaf 818 South Euclid St Louis, MO 63110
Issue of Publication
Spectrum: the National Hearing Conservation Association newsletter
Central Institute for the Deaf, Saint Louis, Missouri
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division