Evaluation of an Auditory Hazard Model Using Data from Human Volunteer Studies
ARMY AEROMEDICAL RESEARCH LAB FORT RUCKER AL
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The auditory hazard assessment algorithm for the human ear computer model developed at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, was evaluated using data from human volunteer studies conducted at Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, NM sponsored by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Ft Detrick, MD. Measurements of the exposure impulses made under the earmuffs of volunteers and the resulting temporary hearing losses were analyzed using the model. The model predictions were compared to the number of volunteers showing significant threshold shifts. For the six-impulse exposures, the model tended to predict more hazard than the human data showed. This over prediction of hazard at small numbers of impulses was exacerbated at larger numbers of impulses because of a rapid accumulation of predicted hazard with increasing numbers of impulses. The minimum phase procedure of the model for estimating the efficacy of hearing protection from real ear attenuation and insertion loss data was evaluated. The model predictions from the minimum phase calculations indicated higher risk than the measurements under the earmuffs. In general, the model hazard indications, from measured data and minimum phase calculations, were not in agreement with the results of the human studies.
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