All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Claudiu Lungu

Advisory Committee Members

Tran Huynh

Ilias Kavouras

Document Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2017

Degree Name by School

Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) School of Public Health

Abstract

Hazardous noise is a widespread problem in industry and recreation. Noise induced hearing loss is one of the most frequently reported occupational health claims worldwide. While there has been much research on noise, its effects, and how to prevent hearing loss in industry, there is limited research available to help quantify the difference that monitoring noise at a lower threshold might create in the measured exposure estimate. Additionally, the studies involving the use of different noise monitoring settings do not attempt to explain how the results might change the outcomes when using data and statistical techniques to classify similar exposure groups into hearing conservation programs. The current study attempts to quantify the difference in magnitude of exposure estimates due to using a 0 dB threshold versus the standard 80 dB threshold compares two newer statistical techniques against a proven method by simulating exposures using prerecorded clips and utilizing dosimeters with the capacity to measure noise at both thresholds simultaneously. The study will also analyze any effects on data logging and microphone capacity that might occur, which could affect the accuracy of the exposure estimates. The results of the data analysis show that there is often overlap in which exposure groups are included in hearing conservation between each of the different noise monitoring levels and statistical techniques, but that often the more inclusive threshold and the updated statistical techniques are more conservative, and include more groups into hearing conservation. Little variation is found as a result of using the new noise monitoring methods that might affect the accuracy of the exposure estimates. Overall the study is successful at helping improve the methods that would be used to include worker groups into hearing conservation and the use of lower threshold noise monitoring could result in future studies that can reveal damaging effects at levels once previously thought safe.

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