Bring In Da Noise, Bring In Da Hearing Protection

A new study finds no apparent tie between the presence of a PPE policy and the percentage of workers wearing hearing protection.

The March/April 2002 edition of the American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal (AIHAJ) features two important articles on noise control and hearing protection.

The first article, "Hearing Protector Use in Noise-Exposed Workers: A Retrospective Look at 1983," is written by Rickie R. Davis and W. Karl Sieber of the National Institute for Occupational Safety Health (NIOSH). Davis and Sieber reviewed data from a 1983 NIOSH National Occupational Exposure Survey to determine whether workers were using hearing protection. The study found that of an estimated 4.1 million industrial workers exposed to noise greater than or equal to 85 dBA 41 percent were wearing some form of hearing protection. The results showed no apparent tie between the presence of a PPE policy and the percentage of workers wearing hearing protection.

The second article offers a detailed look at one case of environmental noise exposure within a city center. "A Comprehensive Investigation of Noise Exposure in and Around an Integrated Iron and Steel Works," examines the community impact of noise levels and noise control efforts. The article details the varying methods used to measure noise at different times of day and in different parts of the plant.

Other applied industrial hygiene studies of particular interest to industrial hygienists and the occupational and environmental health and safety field included in this issue of the journal include:

  • Determination of Unique Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds Produced by Five Aspergillus Species Commonly Found in Problem Buildings
  • UV Disinfection of Soluble Oil Metalworking Fluids
  • High-Frequency Noise in Dentistry

The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) publishes the AIHA Journal bimonthly. The AIHA Journal is available online at www.aiha.org (click on "Publications, Products and Periodicals" and then on "AIHAJ").

edited by Sandy Smith ([email protected])

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