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  Citation statistics : Table of Contents
   2009| October-December  | Volume 11 | Issue 45  
    Online since October 2, 2009

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Effects of road traffic noise and irrelevant speech on children's reading and mathematical performance
Robert Ljung, Patrik Sorqvist, Staffan Hygge
October-December 2009, 11(45):194-198
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.56212  PMID:19805928
Irrelevant speech in classrooms and road traffic noise adjacent to schools have a substantial impact on children's ability to learn. Comparing the effects of different noise sources on learning may help construct guidelines for noise abatement programs. Experimental studies are important to establish dose-response relationships and to expand our knowledge beyond correlation studies. This experiment examined effects of road traffic noise and irrelevant speech on children's reading speed, reading comprehension, basic mathematics, and mathematical reasoning. A total of 187 pupils (89 girls and 98 boys), 12-13 years old, were tested in their ordinary classrooms. Road traffic noise was found to impair reading speed (P < 0.01) and basic mathematics (P < 0.05). No effect was found on reading comprehension or on mathematical reasoning. Irrelevant speech did not disrupt performance on any task. These findings are related to previous research on noise in schools and the implications for noise abatement guidelines are discussed.
  27 8,892 36
Estimates of auditory risk from outdoor impulse noise II: Civilian firearms
Gregory A Flamme, Adam Wong, Kevin Liebe, James Lynd
October-December 2009, 11(45):231-242
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.56217  PMID:19805933
Firearm impulses are common noise exposures in the United States. This study records, describes and analyzes impulses produced outdoors by civilian firearms with respect to the amount of auditory risk they pose to the unprotected listener under various listening conditions. Risk estimates were obtained using three contemporary damage risk criteria (DRC) including a waveform parameter-based approach (peak SPL and B-duration), an energy-based criterion (A-weighted SEL and equivalent continuous level) and a physiological model (AHAAH). Results from these DRC were converted into a number of maximum permissible unprotected exposures to facilitate interpretation. Acoustic characteristics of firearm impulses differed substantially across guns, ammunition, and microphone location. The type of gun, ammunition and the microphone location all significantly affected estimates of auditory risk from firearms. Vast differences in maximum permissible exposures were observed; the rank order of the differences varied with the source of the impulse. Unprotected exposure to firearm noise is not recommended, but people electing to fire a gun without hearing protection should be advised to minimize auditory risk through careful selection of ammunition and shooting environment. Small-caliber guns with long barrels and guns loaded with the least powerful ammunition tend to be associated with the least auditory risk.
  21 7,461 51
Estimates of the auditory risk from outdoor impulse noise I: Firecrackers
Gregory A Flamme, Kevin Liebe, Adam Wong
October-December 2009, 11(45):223-230
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.56216  PMID:19805932
Firecrackers are common impulse noise exposures in the United States. In this study, impulses produced outdoors by consumer firecrackers were recorded, described, and analyzed with respect to the amount of the auditory risk they pose to the unprotected listener under various listening conditions. Risk estimates were obtained using three contemporary damage risk criteria (DRC), including a waveform parameter-based approach (peak SPL and B duration), an energy-based criterion (A-weighted sound exposure level and equivalent continuous level), and a physiological model (the AHAAH model developed by Price and Kalb). Results from these DRC were converted into numbers of maximum permissible unprotected exposures to facilitate comparison. Acoustic characteristics of firecracker impulses varied with the distance, but only subtle differences were observed across firecrackers. Typical peak levels ranged between 171 dB SPL at 0.5 m and 142 dB SPL at 8 m. Estimates of the auditory risk did not differ significantly across firecrackers, but varied with the distance. Vast differences in maximum permissible exposures were observed, and the directions of the differences varied with the level of the impulse. Typical estimates of maximum permissible exposures ranged between 0 and 2 at 0.5 m and between 31 and 227,000 at 8 m. Unprotected exposures to firecracker impulses should be limited or avoided entirely if the firecrackers are ignited in batches within 8 m of the listener. Differences across DRC are inconsequential at 0.5 m, but have substantial implications at distances of 1 m and more.
  13 7,175 46
Sound localization with an army helmet worn in combination with an in-ear advanced communications system
Sharon M Abel, Stephen Boyne, Heidi Roesler-Mulroney
October-December 2009, 11(45):199-205
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.56213  PMID:19805929
Conventional hearing protection devices result in decrements mainly in the ability to distinguish front from rearward sound sources. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of wearing an earplug with advanced communications capability, in combination with an army helmet, on horizontal plane speaker identification. Ten normal-hearing male subjects were tested in a semi-reverberant sound proof booth under eight conditions defined by combinations of two levels of ear occlusion (unoccluded and occluded by the earplug) and four levels of the helmet (head bare and fitted with the helmet modified to give no, partial and full ear coverage). Percent correct speaker identification was assessed using a horizontal array of eight loudspeakers surrounding the subject at one meter. These were positioned close to the midline and interaural axes of the head, at ear level. The stimulus was a 75-dB SPL, 300-ms broadband white noise. Both degree of ear coverage and ear occlusion significantly determined outcome. Overall percent correct ranged from 93.6% (bareheaded) to 79.7% (full ear coverage) with the ears unoccluded, and from 83.4%-77.5% with ear occlusion. Both variables affected the prevalence of mirror image confusions for positions 30° apart in front and back of the interaural axis. With ear occlusion, front given back errors were more likely than back given front errors, increasing with degree of ear coverage to 49% and 25.4%, respectively. These errors also increased with ear coverage with the ears unoccluded, but were similar. Both degree of ear coverage and ear occlusion significantly impacted horizontal plane speaker identification, particularly for sources close to the interaural axis. However, overall percent correct was higher than observed in a previous study with conventional and level-dependent hearing protection devices, using the same array.
  8 4,209 22
Effects of shift work on noise-induced hearing loss
Yu-Fung Chou, Jim-Shoung Lai, Hsien-Wen Kuo
October-December 2009, 11(45):185-188
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.56210  PMID:19805926
Evidence has accumulated concerning the adverse effects of noise on hearing acuity, but it is not clear whether working shifts may decelerate the effects of hearing loss. The objective of this study is to assess the effects of shift work on hearing loss in a noisy work environment. A sample of 218 male workers recruited at a semiconductor factory with no known occupational hazards that affected hearing acuity other than noise was chosen. The subjects worked either in an eight-hour or 12-hour shift. A standardized audiometric procedure was performed by a qualified audiologist to measure pure-tone hearing thresholds at 0.5kHz, 1kHz, 2kHz, 3kHz, 4kHz, 6kHz and 8kHz in both ears. Using multiple linear regression adjusted for age, smoking habits, and work duration, the results showed that the severity of hearing loss in both ears was significantly lower in subjects who worked a 12-hour shift. In conclusion, working a 12-hour shift followed by a day off is best for workers and hearing protection should be provided in high noise areas.
  7 6,289 49
Development of a noise prediction model under interrupted traffic flow conditions: A case study for Jaipur city
Sheetal Agarwal, Bajrang L Swami, Akhilendra Bhushan Gupta
October-December 2009, 11(45):189-193
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.56211  PMID:19805927
The objective of this study is to develop an empirical noise prediction model for the evaluation of equivalent noise levels (Leq) under interrupted traffic flow conditions. A new factor tendency to blow horn (A H ) was introduced in the conventional federal highway administrative noise prediction (FHWA) model and a comparative study was made between FHWA and modified FHWA models to evaluate the best suitability of the model. Monitoring and modeling of Leq were carried out at four selected intersections of Jaipur city. After comparison of the results, it was found that the modified FHWA model could be satisfactorily applied for Indian conditions as it gives acceptable results with a deviation of ΁3 dB (A). In addition, statistical analysis of the data comprising measured and estimated values shows a good agreement. Hence, the modified FHWA traffic noise prediction model can be applied to the cities having similar traffic conditions as in Jaipur city.
  6 4,798 17
Blink rate during tests of executive performance after nocturnal traffic noise
Markus Breimhorst, Anke Marks, Sibylle Robens, Barbara Griefahn
October-December 2009, 11(45):217-222
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.56215  PMID:19805931
This analysis is on the hypothesis that nocturnal traffic noise affects sleep quality whereas performance decrement is avoided by increased effort expressed by a decrease in blink rates (BRs) during a visual task. Twenty-four persons (12 women, 12 men; 19-28 years, 23.56 ± 2.49 years) slept during three consecutive weeks in the laboratory while exposed to road, rail, or aircraft noise with weekly permuted changes. Each week consisted of a random sequence of a quiet night (32 dBA) and three nights with equivalent noise levels of 39, 44 and 50 dBA respectively. The polysomnogram was recorded during all nights. Every morning the participants rated their sleep quality and then completed two executive tasks (Go/Nogo-, Switch-task). Neither of the two performance tests was affected by nocturnal noise. Sleep efficiency and subjective sleep quality decreased with increasing noise levels but were not associated with the type of noise. In contrast, BRs were associated with the type of noise, not with noise levels. The results do not support the hypothesis concerning the BR. The possible reasons are discussed. However, the results do not exclude that other physiological parameters such as heart rate or brain potentials measured during the tests might have revealed alterations associated with nocturnal noise exposure.
  2 3,659 16
Expert system to predict effects of noise pollution on operators of power plant using neuro-fuzzy approach
Hameed Kaleel Ahmed, Mallick Zulquernain
October-December 2009, 11(45):206-216
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.56214  PMID:19805930
Ration power plants, to generate power, have become common worldwide. One such one is the steam power plant. In such plants, various moving parts of heavy machines generate a lot of noise. Operators are subjected to high levels of noise. High noise level exposure leads to psychological as well physiological problems; different kinds of ill effects. It results in deteriorated work efficiency, although the exact nature of work performance is still unknown. To predict work efficiency deterioration, neuro-fuzzy tools are being used in research. It has been established that a neuro-fuzzy computing system helps in identification and analysis of fuzzy models. The last decade has seen substantial growth in development of various neuro-fuzzy systems. Among them, adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system provides a systematic and directed approach for model building and gives the best possible design parameters in minimum possible time. This study aims to develop a neuro-fuzzy model to predict the effects of noise pollution on human work efficiency as a function of noise level, exposure time, and age of the operators doing complex type of task.
  1 4,621 18
Effects of shift work and intermittent noise exposure on hearing: Mechanisms and prophylactic potential
Hans M Borchgrevink
October-December 2009, 11(45):183-184
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.56209  PMID:19805925
It is well established that intermittent noise exposure characteristically produces less hearing loss than equal energy/intensity continuous noise in animal models. Ongoing different shift work regimes open for direct studies on hearing effects of intermittent noise exposure in man without ethical concern. Amazingly, few such studies are reported. In one recent study in the present volume, noise-exposed employees working 12 hours a day for two consecutive days followed by two days off, the cycle then repeated, had significantly lower permanent hearing loss than employees working nine-hour shifts from 8 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday. This commentary refers to the few studies reported, gives a short overview of the mechanisms behind noise-induced hearing loss and the protective effect of intermittent exposure, and concludes that direct studies in man on the effects of different shift work regimes on occupational hearing loss under specified noise conditions represent a prophylactic potential that calls for increased research activity. Such studies might pave the way for direct use of more optimal intermittent noise exposure regimes in future design of the noise exposure workday/-week and make future hearing conservation programs more effective.
  1 3,737 36