Impulse noise generated by starter pistols
Published Date:Feb 2013
Source:Int J Audiol. 52(0 1):S9-19.
Hearing Loss, Noise-Induced
Noise-induced Hearing Loss
Occupational Health And Safety
Track And Field
Pubmed Central ID:PMC4617326
Funding:CC999999/Intramural CDC HHS/United States
This study describes signals generated by .22 and .32 caliber starter pistols in the context of noise-induced hearing loss risk for sports officials and athletes.
Acoustic comparison of impulses generated from typical .22 and .32 caliber starter pistols firing blanks were made to impulses generated from comparable firearms firing both blanks and live rounds. Acoustic characteristics are described in terms of directionality and distance from the shooter in a simulated outdoor running track. Metrics include peak sound pressure levels (SPL), A-weighted equivalent 8-hour level (LeqA8), and maximum permissible number of individual shots, or maximum permissible exposures (MPE) for the unprotected ear.
Starter pistols produce peak SPLs above 140 dB. The numbers of MPEs are as few as five for the .22-caliber starter pistol, and somewhat higher (≤25) for the .32-caliber pistol.
The impulsive sounds produced by starter pistols correspond to MPE numbers that are unacceptably small for unprotected officials and others in the immediate vicinity of the shooter. At the distances included in this study, the risk to athletes appears to be low (when referencing exposure criteria for adults), but the sound associated with the starter pistol will contribute to the athlete’s overall noise exposure.
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