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Noise and Hearing Loss

More people are losing their hearing due to prolonged exposure to a consistently loud environment. Twenty-five percent of the work force in the United States is regularly exposed to potentially damaging noise (Suter and Von Gierke, 1987). More than 30 million Americans are exposed to hazardous sound levels on a regular basis and everyone from young children to the elderly can be at risk of noise induced hearing loss.

Hearing awareness and information can help reduce this growing problem. For information on noise and hearing conservation as it relates to hearing loss, contact the following resources or seek assistance from your local library.

Bibliography on Noise and Hearing Loss:

Environmental Protection Department: Environmental Noise Bibliography:
This bibliography provides readers with books and articles related to environmental noise as a cause for noise induced hearing loss. The titles include U.S. and world research about environmental noise and laws pertaining to environmental noise levels for different countries.

Hearing Conservation Materials:
Web site: http://sertomakc.org/
E-mail: infosertoma@sertoma.com
SERTOMA works to assist people with speech, hearing and language disorders. SERTOMA sponsors community projects to help establish programs and clubs so groups of people can find support within their communities.

Hearing Protection Product Links:
The following Web sites offer consumers a variety of options when looking for ear and hearing safety such as ear plugs, ear muffs, and the newest in ear and hearing protection.





Additional Resources:

  • American Academy of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery, Inc., One Prince Street, Alexandria, VA 22316; 703-836-4444; Web site: http://www.entnet.org/, E-mail: info@entnet.org, Noise, Ears, and Hearing
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 10801 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852; 301-897-5700, 800-638-8255; Web site: http://www.asha.org/, E-mail: actioncenter@asha.org, ASHA Answers Questions About Noise and Hearing Loss, Media Update: Noise, Noise and Your Hearing; hearing conservation materials are also distributed.
  • American Tinnitus Association, P.O. Box 5, Portland, OR 97207; Toll Free: 800-634-8978, 503-248-9985, Fax: 503-248-0024; Web site: http://www.ata.org/, E-mail: tinnitus@ata.org, Noise: Its effect on hearing and tinnitus.
  • Canadian Hearing Society, 271 Spadian Road, Toronto, Ontario, CANADA M5R 2V3. Web site: http://www.chs.ca/, E-mail: info@chs.ca or office@toronto.cha.ca, Noise, Noise Pollution, Portable Sound and You.
  • E.R.I.C. Document Repro Services, P.O. Box 190, Arlington, VA 22210; 703-440-1400, 800-443-3742, Fax: 703-440-1408. Web site: http://www.eric.ed.gov/, E-mail: service@edrs.com, Preparing for a Quieter Tomorrow, Sounds Alive: A Noise Workbook.
  • Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers (H.E.A.R.), P.O. Box 460847, San Francisco, CA 94146; 415-409-3277 (HEAR), Fax: 415-409-5683 (LOUD). Web site: http://www.hearnet.com. H.E.A.R. promotes education and awareness about hearing among those in the rock industry; it urges using earplugs for hearing protection at rock concerts, and reduction in sound volume.
  • Industrial Acoustics Company (IAC), Communications Department, 1160 Commerce Avenue, Bronx, NY 10462. Noise Control Reference Handbook. Book with definitions, charts, equations, tables, figures, and photographs which help identify, evaluate, and solve noise problems. The Handbook is useful for noise control in hospitals, office buildings, hotels and convention centers. The Handbook is available by request on company letterhead at $20 per copy, plus $3 for postage.
  • New York and Florida League for the Hard of Hearing. New York: 50 Broadway, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10004. Phone: 917-305-7700, TTY: 917-305-7999, Fax: 917-305-7888. Florida: 2800 W. Oakland Park Blvd. Suite 306, Oakland Park, FL 33311. Phone: 954-731-7200 (V/TTY), TTY: 954-731-7208, Fax: 954-458-6336.Web site: http://www.lhh.org/. E-mail: info@lhh.org. Warning: Noise Can Damage Your Hearing.
  • National Hearing Conservation Association. 9101 E. Kenyon Ave. Suite 3000, Denver, CO 80237. Phone: 303-224-9022, Fax: 303-770-1812. Web site: http://www.hearingconservation.org/. E-mail: nbca@gwami.com. Provides a database for current work being done to reduce noise induced hearing loss in all aspects of society. People can join the NHCA email list and be kept informed of workshops, conferences and seminars offered by NHCA.
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. 200 Independence Ave, SW. Washington DC 20201. Phone: 800-356-4674, Fax 513-533-8573, Web Site: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/homepage.html. Working with OSHA, the mission of NIOSH is to assure safe and healthy working conditions for all by providing research, information , education and training in the field of occupational health.
  • Hearing Loss Association of America, 7910 Woodmont Ave, Suit 1200, Bethesda, MD 20814; 301-657-2248, TTY: 301-657-2249, Fax: 301-319-9413. Web site: www.hearingloss.org,

Graphs and Testing Materials:
Below are hearing level graphs illustrating normal hearing and the most common range of hearing loss due to noise.



The following Web site provides hearing loss simulation tests and materials:


References for this Publication
1. Pictures from: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~lusk/sallynihl.html
2. Selected statistics from: http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/

Special thanks to the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center’s Debra Nussbaum, coordinator of the Cochlear Implant Education Center, for her help in the development of this document.


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