Presented by Elliott H. Berger
Some of the most hazardous sounds we hear are brief sounds – noises from impacts and impulses. These arise from sources like household tools, construction, industrial noise, firecrackers, guns, and even automotive airbags. The progression of damage to the ear from sounds such as these differs from the gradual hearing loss due to long-term exposure to high-level noise. The various mechanisms will be revealed, as will the related damage-risk criteria for impulse noise that describe how many of those brief sounds as a function of level the ear can tolerate before injury occurs. There still exists serious debate within the scientific community concerning such estimates and how they are derived.
The other part of the story is, of course, what can be done about it? To address this, we will explore hearing protection for such noises, including how hearing protection devices are measured, how they perform, and suggestions for their use. Log in, listen, and learn, so that you and those in your hearing conservation program will never have to miss what you’ve been hearing.
About Elliott H. Berger
Elliott H. Berger, M.S., is a Division Scientist for 3M’s Personal Safety Division. For nearly 40 years he has studied hearing protection, hearing conservation, and related topics, and has presented his research in 14 textbook chapters and over 60 published articles. He chairs the ANSI working group on hearing protector attenuation, served on a National Academy of Science committee evaluating hearing loss in the military, is a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, Past-President of the National Hearing Conservation Association, Fellow of the American Industrial Hygiene Association and Past-Chair of its Noise Committee, a past Board Member of the Council for Accreditation in Occupational Hearing Conservation, and a recipient of the National Hearing Conservation Association's Lifetime Achievement Award in Hearing Conservation. Among his favorite sounds is the silvery flutter of the leaves of a stand of river birch tickled by a cool evening breeze.