Auditory Risk of Air Rifles
Source:Int J Audiol. 55(Suppl 1):S51-S58.
Pubmed Central ID:PMC4896309
Funding:CC999999/Intramural CDC HHS/United States
To characterize the impulse noise exposure and auditory risk for air rifle users for both youth and adults.
Acoustic characteristics were examined and the auditory risk estimates were evaluated using contemporary damage-risk criteria for unprotected adult listeners and the 120-dB peak limit and LAeq75 exposure limit suggested by the World Health Organization (1999) for children.
Impulses were generated by 9 pellet air rifles and 1 BB air rifle.
None of the air rifles generated peak levels that exceeded the 140 dB peak limit for adults and 8 (80%) exceeded the 120 dB peak SPL limit for youth. In general, for both adults and youth there is minimal auditory risk when shooting less than 100 unprotected shots with pellet air rifles. Air rifles with suppressors were less hazardous than those without suppressors and the pellet air rifles with higher velocities were generally more hazardous than those with lower velocities.
To minimize auditory risk, youth should utilize air rifles with an integrated suppressor and lower velocity ratings. Air rifle shooters are advised to wear hearing protection whenever engaging in shooting activities in order to gain self-efficacy and model appropriate hearing health behaviors necessary for recreational firearm use.
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