The Proposed ISO Standard Determination of Occupational Noise Exposure and Estimation of Noise-Induced Hearing Impairment

  • H. E. von Gierke
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 111)


Research on the relationship between noise exposure and noise-induced hearing loss has been very intense over the last 30 years, and steady progress has been made in spite of many remaining questions and unresolved problems regarding the mechanism. For the time being, avoidance of excessive noise exposure is the only way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss; this is the reason why governments, industry, workers and their representatives have been looking for scientific exposure criteria and guidelines to prevent hazardous noise exposure as part of comprehensive hearing conservation programs. Although it was clear from the beginning that noise-induced hearing loss in a population with exactly defined noise exposure would exhibit a statistical distribution due to differences in biological susceptibility, the epidemiological statistical data were not available to describe quantitatively the difference between the percentage of people with impaired hearing in a noise exposed group and the percentage of people in a non-noise-exposed group, i. e., the risk of noise-induced hearing impairment. All data suffered from inherent inaccuracies in the noise as well as exposure time measurement and from the limited knowledge and differences in opinion on what to define as “normal,” non-noise-exposed hearing. Early Damage Risk Criteria such as the U. S. National Academy of Sciences (CHABA) [1] recommendations of 1966 and their subsequent adoption, simplification and modification by various individuals and agencies relied on the postulated relationship between temporary threshold shift (TTS) and permanent threshold shift (PTS) produced by a specific noise and on the assumption that exposures that produce equal TTS are equally hazardous.


Noise Exposure Impulse Noise Sound Level Meter National Technical Information Hearing Handicap 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. E. von Gierke
    • 1
  1. 1.Harry G. Armstrong Aerospace Medical Research LaboratoryWright-Patterson AFBUSA

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