Current Perspectives on Issues in Personal Hearing Protection

  • P. W. Alberti
  • S. M. Abel
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 111)


It remains difficult to obtain a perspective on the role and the potential of hearing protectors in hearing conservation programs because of the wide range of disciplines involved in this work, the diverse publications in which the findings are published and the wish for confidentiality of findings that is equally apparent in industry and the military. At a major meeting held in Toronto in 1980, papers were presented on a wide range of topics encompassing engineering, physiology, epidemiology, and national standards [1]. At that meeting, many of the remaining problems were identified. They included:
  1. 1.

    Significant criticism of current standard methods of measuring the effectiveness of hearing protectors and, in particular, the NRR scales.

  2. 2.

    The lack of an adequate artificial head and ear on which to make standard measurements of protectors, which bear some relationship to real life.

  3. 3.

    The extremely wide range of attenuation provided to the work force by a variety of theoretically appropriate protectors.

  4. 4.

    The discrepancy between attenuation obtained in the laboratory and that found in field tests.

  5. 5.

    The relative paucity of information about the effectiveness of hearing protectors in protecting a noise exposed population from hearing loss.

  6. 6.

    Problems related to communication while wearing ear protectors, including the perception of warning signals.

  7. 7.

    Difficulty related to wearing multiple protectors.



Hearing Loss Detection Threshold Normal Hearing Normal Hearing Listener Hearing Protector 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. W. Alberti
    • 1
  • S. M. Abel
    • 1
  1. 1.Silverman Hearing Research Laboratory, Department of Otolaryngology, Mount Sinai Hospital Institute and Faculty of MedicineUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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