The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) is supporting the "Quiet Communities Act of 2001" (H.R. 1116) for its efforts to reestablish and reauthorize funding for EPA''s Office of Noise Abatement and Control.
A letter from the association to Rep. Nita M. Lowey, R-N.Y., recognizes the primary emphasis of H.R. 1116, which is airport, community and environmental noise issues.
However, AIHA''s support focuses on the opportunity to chance existing procedures for evaluating hearing protection devices.
AIHA President Steven P. Levine, Ph.D., CIH, who wrote the letter, voiced his concerns that the current procedures "and resultant noise reduction rating (NRR) values, are of little use in determining the actual protection afforded to noise-exposed workers wearing hearing protection in the field."
Levine further noted, "Without an Office of Noise Abatement and Control there will be no federal resources allocated to this important issue."
Lastly, AIHA expressed in the letter that, along with other concerned professional organizations, it seeks a revision through H.R. 1116 of the existing hearing protection evaluation regulation because, according to AIHA, it "calls for a test by a standard that is inaccurate and provides meaningless and misleading data to industry and consumers on package labels."
by Virginia Sutcliffe