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Selected Category: Hearing Loss

So How Accurate Are These Smartphone Sound Measurement Apps?

Categories: Hearing Loss, Technology

Figure 1. The SoundMeter app on the iPhone 5 (L) and iPhone 4S (R) compared to ½” Larson-Davis 2559 random incidence type 1 microphone (C).

As of June 2013, 60% of all mobile subscribers use smartphones—that’s more than 140 million devices. Apple iOS and Google Android platforms account for 93% of those devices [Nielsen, 2013]. Smartphone developers now offer many sound measurement applications (apps) using the devices’ built-in microphone (or through an external microphone for more sophisticated applications). The use of smartphone sound measurement apps can have a tremendous and far-reaching impact in the areas of noise research and noise control in the workplace as every smartphone can be potentially turned into a dosimeter or a sound level meter

NIOSH HPD Well-Fit™: The Future is Fit-Testing

Categories: Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing, Construction, Hearing Loss, Manufacturing, Mining, Oil and Gas, Personal Protective Equipment

  

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory

Today is Save Your Hearing Day.  For workers and others who are exposed to dangerously loud noises which cannot be reduced or eliminated, hearing protection devices (HPDs) are absolutely necessary to save their hearing.  But if HPDs are not properly selected or correctly worn, the devices may not block out enough noise and the wearer may still risk a loss of hearing.  How can a person tell if their HPDs are fit correctly?  A new development from NIOSH – HPD Well-FitTM – can quickly and inexpensively test the performance of hearing protection.  This fit testing technology is a huge advancement in efforts to save workers’ hearing. 

Even a Dummy Knows October is Protect Your Hearing Month

Categories: Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing, Hearing Loss, Manufacturing, Total Worker Health

Meet Nick.  Nick is a training mannequin who helps NIOSH teach young people and their families about preventing noise-induced hearing loss.  Hearing loss can result from working around noise–even non-powered hand tools–without wearing proper hearing protection. It is not uncommon for a 25 year-old farmer or carpenter to have the hearing of a 50 year-old.  In fact, 33% of all people who are exposed to hazardous noise at work will develop noise-induced hearing loss. You don’t have to work on a farm or at a factory to be at risk; common noise sources around your house – such as lawnmowers, power tools, and music systems – can be hazardous to your hearing.  It is the sum of all of your exposures to sound throughout the day and evening that add together to damage hearing when that total becomes excessive. Even the young are at risk.  In the general population, approximately 15% of those between ages 6 and 19 show signs of impaired hearing.[i]  One study found that over 30% of high school boys who live or work on a farm have hearing loss[ii]. We need to protect this and the next generation of workers.

Safety and Health in the Theater: Keeping Tragedy out of the Comedies…and Musicals…and Dramas

Categories: Chemicals, Construction, Ergonomics, Exposure, Hearing Loss, Sports and Entertainment

On Sunday, the 2012 Tony Awards celebrated the year’s best offerings from “The Great White Way.”  While the theater provides entertainment, the preparation and production of live performances can also pose hazards to those working in all aspects of the theater –from actors on stage to set designers behind the scenes and musicians in the orchestra pit.  Some of these hazards were well publicized in recent years as multiple actors and stunt doubles were injured during the production of Spiderman, Turn off the Dark.  These injuries included harness failure, injuries sustained during flying sequences and actors struck by equipment[i]. With the complexities of a theatrical production, there are numerous potential hazards.  In fact, one hazard, a falling backdrop, is portrayed in the musical The Phantom of the Opera.  But the Phantom wasn’t to blame when a large backdrop hit Bret Michaels on the head after performing with the cast of Rock of Ages during the 2009 Tony Awards [ii].   Other potential hazards in the theater include rigging and flying hazards, repetitive strain injuries among dancers and carpenters, solvent and chemical exposures, noise-induced hearing loss, electrical hazards, falls from heights, as well as most hazards found on a construction site.

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