Is it necessary to penalize impulsive noise +5 dB due to higher risk of hearing damage?
Publication: Research - peer-review › Journal article
It is studied whether the +5 dB penalty for impulsiveness established by ISO 1999:1990 accounts for a higher risk of noise-induced hearing loss. A total of 16 normal-hearing human subjects were exposed for 10 min to two types of binaural industrial-recordings: (1) a continuous broad-band noise normalized to LEX,8 h = 80 dBA and (2) the combination of the previous stimulus with an impulsive noise normalized to LEX,8 h = 75 + 5db penalty = 80 dBA (peak level 117 dBC and repetition rate of 0.5 impacts per second). Distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) were measured in a broad frequency range before and in the following 90 min after the exposure. The group results show that the continuous exposure had a bigger impact on DPOAE levels, with a maximum DPOAE shift of approximately 5 dB in the frequency range of 2–3.15 kHz during the first 10 min of the recovery. No evident DPOAE shift is seen for the impulsive + continuous stimulus. The results indicate that the penalty overestimated the effects on DPOAE levels and support the concept that the risk of hearing loss from low-level impulses may be predicted on an equal-energy basis.