NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Noise exposures of rural adolescents.

Humann M; Sanderson W; Flamme G; Kelly KM; Moore G; Stromquist A; Merchant JA
J Rural Health 2011 Winter; 27(1):72-80
PURPOSE: This project was conducted to characterize the noise exposure of adolescents living in rural and agricultural environments. METHODS: From May to October, 25 adolescents ages 13 through 17, living either on a farm or a rural nonfarm, were enrolled in the study. Subjects received training on the correct operation and use of personal noise dosimeters and the proper way to record their daily tasks on activity cards. Subjects completed 4 days of self-monitoring noise dosimetry, 2 days in the first round (May-July) and 2 days in the second round (August-October). In addition to dosimetry, subjects completed activity logs of their daily tasks. RESULTS: The mean daily noise exposures of adolescents living on farms and in nonfarm rural homes were between 55.4 dBA (A-weighted decibels) and 103.5 dBA, with 44% of the daily measurements greater than the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health Recommended Exposure Level of 85 dBA. Task-based analysis of noise exposures found that activities involving mechanized equipment resulted in the highest exposures, while activities in the home resulted in the lowest exposure. No particular demographic group had a statistically higher noise exposure; therefore, specific factors apart from activities and noise sources could not be identified as risk factors for exposure to hazardous noise levels. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this project indicate that rural adolescents complete a variety of activities and are exposed to noise sources with a broad range of decibel levels. While the exposures may change from day to day, there are occasions when exposure to noise exceeds the recommended levels.
Noise; Agricultural workers; Agriculture; Children; Work environment; Noise exposure; Families; Farmers; Dosimetry; Exposure assessment; Exposure levels; Exposure limits; Task performance; Machine operation; Author Keywords: Adolescents; exposure assessment; noise; rural health; rural safety
Michael Humann, MS, The University of Iowa, Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, 100 Oakdale Campus, 124 IREH, Iowa City, IA 52242-5000
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement; Grant
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U50-OH-007548; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U54-OH-007548; Grant-Number-T42-OH-008491
Issue of Publication
Priority Area
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Source Name
The Journal of Rural Health
Performing Organization
University of Iowa, Iowa City
Page last reviewed: March 11, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division