What about the Children? Are There Long-Term Consequences to Earlier and Greater Exposure to Noise?

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Harmful noises are everywhere. “The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that approximately 30 million Americans are exposed to daily noise levels that will likely lead to hearing loss” (Daniel, 2007, p. 226). Excessive noise exposure can lead to permanent hearing loss, tinnitus, poor communication abilities, and reduced self-esteem; however, it can be prevented in many situations. This paper will discuss how much noise exposure can occur before it becomes hazardous, the long-term effects of noise exposure at an early age, and the primary reasons why preventable socioacousis occurs. The amount of damage resulting from noise exposure depends on the intensity level of the noise in relation to the length of time exposed to the noise. According to NIOSH, sound levels that exceed a time weighted average of 85 decibels dB(A) over an 8-hour period of time are considered dangerous. It is recommended that exposure time be decreased by half for every 3 dB increase in intensity that exceeds 85 dB because noise exposure increases with time and intensity (NIOSH, 1998). Impulse sounds such as gun fires or firecrackers can exceed 150 dB(A) and cause immediate, irreversible, sensorineural hearing loss (Axelsson & Jerson, 1985). Most people are unaware of the decibel system and how much 85 dB equates to, but according to the article, “How loud is too loud? Minimize noise exposure to protect your hearing”, if someone has to yell to be heard, it is probably loud enough to cause hearing damage, (Johnson, 2011). To further evaluate the effects of noise exposure Kujawa and Liberman conducted a study to determine the long-term effects of noise exposure in relation age. They presenting the same amount of 8–16 kHz oc... ... middle of paper ... ...lts. Workplace Safety and Health Topics. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/noise/research/attitudes.html Daniel, E. (2007). Noise and hearing loss: A review. Journal of School Health, 77(5), 225-231. Johnson, A. (2011). How loud is too loud? Minimize noise exposure to protect your hearing (cover story). Family Safety & Health, 70(2), 12-13. Kujawa, S. G., & Liberman, M. C. (2006). Acceleration of age-related hearing loss by early noise exposure: Evidence of a misspent youth. Journal of Neuroscience, 26(7), 2115-2123. Levey, S., Levey, T., & Fligor, B. J. (2011). Noise exposure estimates of urban MP3 player users. Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research, 54(1), 263-277. Wachman, E. M., & Lahav, A. (2011). The effects of noise on preterm infants in the NICU.Archives of Disease in Childhood -- Fetal & Neonatal Edition, 96(7), F305-F309.

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