Measurement of impulse peak insertion loss for four hearing protection devices in field conditions
Published Date:Dec 19 2011
Source:Int J Audiol. 51(0 1):S31-S42.
Pubmed Central ID:PMC4677999
Funding:CC999999/Intramural CDC HHS/United States
In 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed an impulse noise reduction rating (NRR) for hearing protection devices based upon the impulse peak insertion loss (IPIL) methods in the ANSI S12.42-2010 standard. This study tests the ANSI S12.42 methods with a range of hearing protection devices measured in field conditions.
The method utilizes an acoustic test fixture and three ranges for impulse levels: 130–134, 148–152, and 166–170 dB peak SPL. For this study, four different models of hearing protectors were tested: Bilsom 707 Impact II electronic earmuff, E·A·R Pod Express, E·A·R Combat Arms version 4, and the Etymotic Research, Inc. Electronic BlastPLG™ EB1.
Five samples of each protector were fitted on the fixture or inserted in the fixture's ear canal five times for each impulse level. Impulses were generated by a 0.223 caliber rifle.
The average IPILs increased with peak pressure and ranged between 20 and 38 dB. For some protectors, significant differences were observed across protector examples of the same model, and across insertions.
The EPA's proposed methods provide consistent and reproducible results. The proposed impulse NRR rating should utilize the minimum and maximum protection percentiles as determined by the ANSI S12.42-2010 methods.
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