Volume 113, Issue 2, February 2003
Index of content:
- NOISE: ITS EFFECTS AND CONTROL 
113(2003); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.1534834View Description Hide Description
This paper explores the development of thin panels that can be controlled electronically so as to provide surfaces with desired reflection coefficients. Such panels can be used as either perfect reflectors or absorbers. They can also be designed to be transmission blockers that block the propagation of sound. The development of the control system is based on the use of wave separation algorithms that separate incident sound from reflected sound. In order to obtain a desired reflection coefficient, the reflected sound is controlled to appropriate levels. The incident sound is used as an acoustic reference for feedforward control and has the important property of being isolated from the action of the control system speaker. In order to use a panel as a transmission blocker, the acoustic pressure behind the panel is driven to zero. The use of the incident signal as a reference again plays a key role in successfully reducing broadband transmission of sound. The panels themselves are constructed using poster board and small rare-earth actuators. Detailed experimental results are presented showing the efficacy of the algorithms in achieving real-time control of reflection or transmission. The panels are able to effectively block transmission of broadband sound. Practical applications for these panels include enclosures for noisy machinery, noise-absorbing wallpaper, the development of sound walls, and the development of noise-blocking glass windows.
113(2003); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.1536635View Description Hide Description
Variability in background risk and distribution of various risk factors for hearing loss may explain some of the diversity in excess risk of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). This paper examines the impact of various risk factors on excess risk estimates of NIHL using data from the 1968–1972 NIOSH Occupational Noise and Hearing Survey (ONHS). Previous analyses of a subset of these data focused on 1172 highly “screened” workers. In the current analysis, an additional 894 white males (609 noise-exposed and 285 controls), who were excluded for various reasons (i.e., nonoccupational noise exposure, otologic or medical conditions affecting hearing, prior occupational noise exposure) have been added to assess excess risk of noise-induced material impairment in an unscreened population. Data are analyzed by age, duration of exposure, and sound level (8-h TWA) for four different definitions of noise-induced hearing impairment, defined as the binaural pure-tone average (PTA) hearing threshold level greater than 25 dB for the following frequencies: (a) 1–4 kHz (b) 1–3 kHz (c) 0.5, 1, and 2 kHz and (d) 3, 4, and 6 kHz Results indicate that populations with higher background risks of hearing loss may show lower excess risks attributable to noise relative to highly screened populations. Estimates of lifetime excess risk of hearing impairment were found to be significantly different between screened and unscreened population for noise levels greater than 90 dBA. Predicted age-related risk of material hearing impairment in the ONHS unscreened population was similar to that predicted from Annex B and C of ANSI S3.44 for ages less than 60 years. Results underscore the importance of understanding differential risk patterns for hearing loss and the use of appropriate reference (control) populations when evaluating risk of noise-induced hearing impairment among contemporary industrial populations.