Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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Sound Exposure Levels Experienced by University Wind Band Members

Jennifer Stewart Walter
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 24 Number 2: Page 63 (June 2009)

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Abstract: The purpose of this study was 1) to examine the sound exposure of wind band members in a university setting during a week of typical rehearsals and 2) to assess whether that exposure changes depending on subjects¿ location within the rehearsal space. Because excessive sound exposure has a cumulative effect on the ear that can eventually lead to noise-induced hearing loss, it is important to determine whether university musicians are at risk. A 100% dose of sound is the maximum daily exposure recommended by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for preventing noise-induced hearing loss. Twenty-four of 46 subjects (52%) experienced one or more rehearsals with sound levels high enough to produce >100% doses, and 17 subjects experienced a mean daily dose of sound in excess of 100% as compared to the NIOSH standards. Implications and suggestions for further research are discussed.

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