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Noise exposure assessment and abatement strategies at an indoor firing range.
Kardous CA; Willson RD; Hayden CS; Szlapa P; Murphy WJ; Reeves ER
Appl Occup Environ Hyg 2003 Aug; 18(8):629-636
Exposure to hazardous impulse noise is common during the firing of weapons at indoor firing ranges. The aims of this study were to characterize the impulse noise environment at a law enforcement firing range; document the insufficiencies found at the range from a health and safety standpoint; and provide noise abatement recommendations to reduce the overall health hazard to the auditory system. Ten shooters conducted a typical live-fire exercise using three different weapons--the Beretta.40 caliber pistol, the Remington.308 caliber shotgun, and the M4.223 caliber assault rifle. Measurements were obtained at 12 different positions throughout the firing range and adjacent areas using dosimeters and sound level meters. Personal and area measurements were recorded to a digital audio tape (DAT) recorder for further spectral analysis. Peak pressure levels inside the firing range reached 163 decibels (dB) in peak pressure. Equivalent sound levels (Leq) ranged from 78 decibels, A-weighted (dBA), in office area adjacent to the range to 122 dBA inside the range. Noise reductions from wall structures ranged from 29-44 dB. Noise abatement strategies ranged from simple noise control measures (such as sealing construction joints and leaks) to elaborate design modifications to eliminate structural-borne sounds using acoustical treatments. Further studies are needed to better characterize the effects of firing weapons in enclosed spaces on hearing and health in general.
Noise analysis; Noise control; Noise exposure; Noise induced hearing loss; Impulse noise; Law enforcement workers; Work environment; Police officers; Auditory system; Dosimetry; Sound; Soundproofing; Noise measurement; Environmental control; Noise levels; Author Keywords: Firing Range; Noise Abatement; Impulse Noise; Noise- Induced Hearing Loss
Issue of Publication
Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Page last reviewed: March 3, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division