Accession Number:

ADA162380

Title:

Hearing and Underwater Noise Exposure

Descriptive Note:

Final rept.

Corporate Author:

NAVAL SUBMARINE MEDICAL RESEARCH LAB GROTON CT

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1985-08-27

Pagination or Media Count:

28.0

Abstract:

Exposure of divers to intense noise in water is increasing, yet there is no general hearing conservation standard for such exposures. This paper reviews three theories of underwater hearing as well as empirical data in order to identify some requirements that an underwater conservation standard must meet. Among the problems considered are hearing sensitivity in water, the frequency and dynamic ranges of the water-immersed ear, and nonauditory effects of underwater sound. It is concluded that first, no well developed theoretical basis exists for extrapolating hearing conservation standards for airborne noise to the underwater situation second, the empirical data on underwater hearing suggest that the frequency range covered by an underwater hearing conservation standard must be broader than is the case in air third, in order to establish a general hearing conservation standard for underwater noise exposure further research is required on the dynamic range of the ear in water fourth, underwater noise exposure may involve hazards to other body systems than the ear and fifth, some exposure conditions may interfere with job performance of divers. Keywords Deafness, Sonar, Noise, Sound, Ultrasound, Infra-sound, StressPhysiological, Hazards, Diving.

Subject Categories:

  • Stress Physiology
  • Acoustics
  • Environmental Health and Safety

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE