Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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Sound Exposure Levels Experienced by a College Jazz Band Ensemble: Comparison with OSHA Risk Criteria

Miriam A. Henoch Kris Chesky
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 15 Number 1: Page 17 (March 2000)

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Abstract: Jazz education plays a prominent role in the music education of students in secondary and postsecondary schools. Although there is some research relative to health risks posed to professional musicians, little information is available as it relates to young musicians at the collegiate and secondary levels. The primary purpose of this study was to assess the risk of music-induced hearing loss to members of a college jazz band using the currently defined damage risk criteria of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) (1983). Dosimeter measurements were made over a three-day period for five different positions within a University of North Texas jazz ensemble. Measurements obtained from each musician and each position were then compared with current OSHA standards. Findings indicated that when equivalent measures were derived for three hours of exposure, allowable exposure limits were exceeded for ten of the 15 measures obtained. The lead musicians within the ensemble appeared to be at the highest risk for hearing loss. The findings lend further support for the inclusion of musicians in an occupational noise standard

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