J Occup Environ Hyg 2007 Sep; 4(9):688-697
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) received an employee request for a health hazard evaluation of a Special Weapons Assault Team (SWAT) in January 2002. The department was concerned about noise exposures and potential hearing damage from weapons training on their indoor and outdoor firing ranges. NIOSH investigators conducted noise sampling with an acoustic mannequin head and 1/4 -inch microphone to characterize the noise exposures that officers might experience during small arms qualification and training when wearing a variety of hearing protection devices provided by the department. The peak sound pressure levels for the various weapons ranged from 156 to 170 decibels (dB SPL), which are greater than the recommended allowable 140 dB SPL exposure guideline from NIOSH. The earplugs, ear muffs, and customized SWAT team hearing protectors provided between 25 and 35 dB of peak reduction. Double hearing protection (plugs plus muffs) added 15-20 dB of peak reduction.
Noise; Noise-analysis; Noise-exposure; Noise-measurement; Noise-protection; Noise-sources; Ear-protection; Ear-protectors; Hearing-level; Hearing-protection; Hearing-loss; Noise-induced-hearing-loss; Impulse-noise; Police-officers; Emergency-responders
William J. Murphy, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Applied Research and Technology, Engineering and Physical Hazards Branch, 4676 Columbia Parkway, MS C-26, Cincinnati, OH 45226
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene