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Hearing protector attenuation: models of attenuation distributions.
Murphy WJ; Franks JR; Krieg EF
J Acoust Soc Am 2002 May; 111(5)(Pt 1):2109-2116
Current hearing protector rating standards estimate the protection performance for a given frequency as the mean attenuation minus a multiple of the standard deviation. Distributions of real-ear attenuation at threshold data are fit with maximum likelihood estimation procedures using both normal and mixed-normal models. Attenuations from six hearing protectors, Bilsom UF-1 earmuff, Bilsom Quietzone, E.A.R Classic, E.A.R EXPRESS Pod Plugs, Howard Leight MAX, and Wilson EP100 earplugs, measured with a subject-fit protocol are reported. The mixed-normal (bimodal) model provides a better fit to the empirical data than the unimodal model for most frequencies and protectors. Primarily, the bimodal model fits the shape of the distributions caused by data from poorly-fit protectors. This paper presents an alternative method for estimating the protection performance either with the more accurate bimodal model or directly from the empirical cumulative distributions of the attenuation data.
Hearing-protection; Hearing-loss; Noise-levels; Noise-frequencies; Ear-protection; Ear-protectors; Sound-attenuation
Division of Applied Research and Technology, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226-1998
Issue of Publication
Disease and Injury: Hearing Loss
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Page last reviewed: April 9, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division