Typical noise exposure in daily life.
ABSTRACT Identify the distribution of typical noise levels present in daily life and identify factors associated with average sound levels.
This was an observational study.
Participants (N = 286) were 20 to 68 year old men and women, drawn from the general population of Kalamazoo County, Michigan. A total of 73 000 person-hours of noise monitoring were conducted.
Median overall daily average levels were 79 and 77 dBLeq(A,8,equiv), with average levels exceeding EPA recommended levels for 70% of participants. Median levels were similar between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., and varied little across days of the week. Gender, occupational classification, and history of occupational noise exposure were related to average noise levels, but age, educational attainment, and non-occupational noise exposures were not.
A large portion of the general population is exposed to noise levels that could result in long-term adverse effects on hearing. Gender and occupation were most strongly related to exposure, though most participants in this study had occupations that are not conventionally considered noisy.
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ABSTRACT: Numerous studies showed that chronic noise exposure modeled through noise mapping is associated with adverse health effects. However, knowledge about real individual noise exposure, emitted by several sources, is limited. To explain the variation in individual daytime noise exposure regarding different microenvironments, activities and individual characteristics. In a repeated measures study in Augsburg, Germany (March 2007-December 2008), 109 individuals participated in 305 individual noise measurements with a mean duration of 5.5h. Whereabouts and activities were recorded in a diary. One-minute averages of A-weighted equivalent continuous sound pressure levels (Leq) were determined. We used mixed additive models to elucidate the variation of Leq by diary-based information, baseline characteristics and time-invariant variables like long-term noise exposure. Overall noise levels were highly variable (median: 64dB(A); range: 37-105dB(A)). Highest noise levels were measured in traffic during bicycling (69dB(A); 49-97dB(A)) and lowest while resting at home (54dB(A); 37-94dB(A)). Nearly all diary-based information as well as physical activity, sex and age-group had significant influences on individual noise. In an additional analysis restricted to times spent at the residences, long-term noise exposure did not improve the model fit. Individual exposures to day-time noise were moderate to high and showed high variations in different microenvironments except when being in traffic. Individual noise levels were greatly determined by personal activities but also seemed to depend on environmental noise levels. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.Environmental Research 05/2015; 140:479-487. DOI:10.1016/j.envres.2015.05.006 · 3.95 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This study was conducted to evaluate noise exposures and the contributions of occupational and nonoccupational activities among three groups of Swedish workers (office workers, day care workers, and military flight technicians), and to evaluate risk factors for elevated hearing threshold levels. Forty-five subjects were recruited across the three groups. Each subject completed a risk factor questionnaire along with Békésy audiometry at frequencies between 125 and 8000 Hz. Subjects also wore a noise dosimeter continuously for 1 week, and documented their occupational and nonoccupational activities using a time-activity log. Subjects in all groups completed >7400 h of dosimetry, and had weekly exposures between 76 and 81 dBA. Day care workers had the highest daily exposures, and flight technicians had the highest weekly exposures. Most daily and weekly exposures exceeded the 70 dBA exposure limit recommended for prevention of any hearing loss. Subjects' perceptions of their exposures generally agreed well with measured noise levels. Among office workers, exposures were predominately nonoccupational, while among flight technicians nonoccupational and occupational activities contributed roughly equally, and among day care workers occupational exposures were dominant. Extreme exposures and cumulative noise exposure were associated with an increased risk of hearing threshold levels >10 dB hearing level. Effective hearing loss prevention programs may be needed in occupations not historically considered to be at high risk of noise-induced hearing loss (e.g., day care workers). Prevention efforts need to address nonoccupational exposures as well as occupational exposures, as nonoccupational activities may present the dominant risk of noise-induced hearing loss for some workers.Noise and Health 09/2014; 16(72):270-8. DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.140503 · 1.43 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: There have been several previous studies into daily noise exposure levels in modern urban communities, which typically report mean noise exposure levels (LAeq) for adults between 73 and 79 dB. In this study, rather than focus on group mean exposures across a wide age range, individual patterns of noise exposure over 4- and 5-day periods were examined in a group of 45 young adults aged 18–35 years. The main objective of the study was to determine the extent to which young adults exhibit a ‘binge listening’ pattern of noise exposure, i.e., high weekend leisure noise vs. low weekday work noise exposure. A secondary objective was to identify the types of activities that generate the highest noise exposures. The results showed that although most participants (60%) were exposed to low daily noise levels, 33% of participants exhibited a ‘binge listening’ exposure pattern characterized by one or two high-noise days, usually a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, preceded or followed by much quieter days. The most notable high-noise activities were playing an instrument solo or in a band; attending a nightclub; and attending a pop concert, each of which recorded average noise levels greater than 100 dB. Future research is needed to determine whether ‘binge listening’ is more or less harmful than the chronic exposure presupposed in traditional risk models, however, under the equal-energy principle, repeated ‘binge’ noise exposures from weekend visits to nightclubs, live music events and other high-noise events represent a significant risk to long-term hearing health.Applied Acoustics 03/2014; 77:71–75. DOI:10.1016/j.apacoust.2013.10.004 · 1.07 Impact Factor