Measurement of impulse peak insertion loss for four hearing protection devices in field conditions.
Murphy-WJ; Flamme-GA; Meinke-DK; Sondergaard-J; Finan-DS; Lankford-JE; Khan-A; Vernon-J; Stewart-M
Int J Audiol 2012 Feb; 51(S1):S31-S42
Objective: In 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed an impulse noise reduction rating (NRR) for hearing protection devices based upon the impulse peak insertion loss (IPIL) methods in the ANSI S12.42-2010 standard. This study tests the ANSI S12.42 methods with a range of hearing protection devices measured in field conditions. Design: The method utilizes an acoustic test fixture and three ranges for impulse levels: 130-134, 148-152, and 166-170 dB peak SPL. For this study, four different models of hearing protectors were tested: Bilsom 707 Impact II electronic earmuff, E·A·R Pod Express, E·A·R Combat Arms version 4, and the Etymotic Research, Inc. Electronic BlastPLG(TM) EB1. Study sample: Five samples of each protector were fitted on the fixture or inserted in the fixture's ear canal five times for each impulse level. Impulses were generated by a 0.223 caliber rifle. Results: The average IPILs increased with peak pressure and ranged between 20 and 38 dB. For some protectors, significant differences were observed across protector examples of the same model, and across insertions. Conclusions: The EPA's proposed methods provide consistent and reproducible results. The proposed impulse NRR rating should utilize the minimum and maximum protection percentiles as determined by the ANSI S12.42-2010 methods.
Noise; Impulse-noise; Hearing-protection; Ear-protection; Ear-protectors; Measurement-equipment; Analytical-methods; Standards; Testing-equipment; Acoustical-measurements; Equipment-reliability; Noise-levels; Noise-measurement; Noise-protection; Noise-induced-hearing-loss;
Author Keywords: Hearing protection devices; impulse noise; noise reduction rating; noise-induced hearing loss
William J. Murphy, Hearing Loss Prevention Team, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Mailstop C-27, Cincinnati, OH 45226, USA
International Journal of Audiology