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Noise and noise control.
Safety engineering, 4th edition. Mroszczyk JW, ed. Des Plaines, IL: American Society of Safety Engineers, 2013 Jan; :229-259
Noise that is loud (85-90 dBA) and prolonged can permanently destroy the tiny hair cells inside our ears, causing hearing loss. Today over 20 million Americans are exposed to hazardous noise on the job as well as off the job. Studies show that, in general, the ear sustains damage afte about an eight-hour exposure to noise of 80 decibels. OSHA and most U.S. standards set the permissible exposure limit (PEL) at 90 dBA of noise exposure over an eight-hour time period. Worldwide, the majority of PELs for noise are set at 85 dBA over eight hours. NIOSH estimates that 92 percent of workers should be safe from noise-induced hearing loss over their lifetime at this PEL. OSHA reports approximately 90 percent of U.S. workers have time-weighted average (TWA) noise exposure of 95 dBA or less. Noise and ototoxic substances in the workplace can have a detrimental effect on a worker's hearing and could even cause tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, and psychological stress in older workers.
Noise-control; Noise; Cell-damage; Cell-function; Cellular-function; Hearing; Hearing-loss; Exposure-levels; Risk-factors; Workers; Work-environment; Noise-exposure; Ears; Ear-disorders; Psychology; Stress
Safety engineering, 4th edition.
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division