ASA - ANSI/ASA S3.44 PART 1
American National Standard Acoustics – Estimation of Noise-induced Hearing Loss – Part 1: Method for Calculating Expected Noise-induced Permanent Threshold Shift (a modified nationally adopted international standard)
|Publication Date:||4 March 2016|
This American National Standard specifies a method for calculating the expected noise‐induced permanent threshold shift in the hearing threshold levels of adult populations due to various levels and durations of noise exposure; it provides the basis for calculating hearing disability according to various formulae when the hearing threshold levels at commonly measured audiometric frequencies, or combinations of such frequencies, exceed a certain value.
NOTE 1 This American National Standard does not specify frequencies, frequency combinations, or weighted combinations to be used for the evaluation of hearing disability; nor does it specify a hearing threshold level (fence) which it is necessary to exceed for hearing disability to exist. Quantitative selection of these parameters is left to the user. All sound pressure levels stated in this American National Standard do not consider the effect of hearing protectors which would reduce effective exposure levels and modify the spectrum at the ear.
The prediction method presented is based primarily on data collected with essentially broadband steady non‐tonal noise. The application of the data base to tonal or impulsive/impact noise represents the best available extrapolation. However, some users may wish to consider tonal noise and/or impulsive/impact noise about as harmful as a steady non‐tonal noise that is approximately 5 dB higher in level. With tonal exposures, the pattern of hearing loss can differ so that the maximum NIPTS might not occur in the same spectral region as for broadband noise exposure.
The measure of exposure to noise for a population at risk is the noise exposure level normalized to a nominal 8 h working day, LEX,8h, for a given number of years of exposure. This American National Standard applies to noise at frequencies less than approximately 10 kHz which is steady, intermittent, fluctuating, irregular. Use of this American National Standard for sound pressures exceeding 200 Pa (140 dB relative to 20 μPa) is recognized as extrapolation.
Formulae are presented to calculate the hearing loss, including statistical distribution, at a range of audiometric frequencies due to exposure to noise as a function of level of noise exposure and duration of exposure (in years). The formulae do not distinguish between male and female populations.
NOTE 2 Although the models of hearing loss are based on data assumed to stem primarily from populations exposed to occupational noise, they may be used, with some caution, for estimating the effects of comparable non‐occupational and combined exposures.
NOTE 3 The prediction method presented is based primarily on data collected with essentially broadband, steady, non-tonal noise.
To calculate hearing threshold levels and the risk of acquiring hearing loss due to noise exposure, it is necessary to make use of a comparable population. This American National Standard contains a definition of a highly screened otologically normal population (in accordance with ISO 7029) and three examples of unscreened populations of three typical industrialized societies. The users of this American National Standard may choose a comparable population according to their particular requirements.
NOTE 4 All data and procedures presented in this American National Standard are based on deliberate simplifications of experimental data where the daily sound exposure duration did not exceed 12 h. The resulting approximations restrict the validity to the stated ranges of the variables, percentages, sound exposure levels, and frequency ranges.
This American National Standard is based on statistical data and therefore cannot be applied to the prediction or assessment of the hearing loss of individual persons except in terms of statistical probabilities.