Audiology in Brief Research published online in Europe’s leading cardiology journal, European Heart Journal, links exposure to chronic noise with an increased risk of heart attack. The risk seems to be associated more with the physiological effect of environmental and work noise than with the annoyance it causes individuals, although there are ... News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   May 01, 2006
Audiology in Brief
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Hearing Disorders / Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   May 01, 2006
Audiology in Brief
The ASHA Leader, May 2006, Vol. 11, 5. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB.11072006.5
The ASHA Leader, May 2006, Vol. 11, 5. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB.11072006.5
Noise Exposure Linked to Heart Attacks
Research published online in Europe’s leading cardiology journal, European Heart Journal, links exposure to chronic noise with an increased risk of heart attack. The risk seems to be associated more with the physiological effect of environmental and work noise than with the annoyance it causes individuals, although there are differences between men and women. The findings have prompted researchers from Charite University Medical Centre in Berlin urge that the noise level required for workplace ear protection be lowered from 85 decibels, currently used in western Europe, to 65–75 dB. Researchers believe this is especially important for people with existing cardiovascular disease.
Britain’s New Noise Regulations in Effect
Great Britain’s Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 took effect April 6 for all industries except music and entertainment, which have until April 2008 to comply. The British Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has set a goal to eliminate new cases of work-related hearing loss by 2030.
The regulations replace a 1989 standard and emphasize eliminating or reducing noise exposures rather than relying solely on hearing protection. Employers will be required to review their risk assessments and prioritize their noise-control measures, according to HSE.
Employers must ensure their facilities don’t exceed the legal limits on noise exposure (87 dB daily or weekly exposure or peak sound pressure of 140 dB with hearing protection). For more information about the regulations, visit www.hse.gov.uk/noise.
Cochlea’s Shape and Low-Frequency Sounds
Scientists long have believed that the snail shape of the mammalian cochlea-in contrast to the stretched-out versions found in birds or reptiles-is useful for packing multiple hearing parts into a very small space. Researchers now have demonstrated another benefit to its tightly-wound shape: it improves the detection of low-frequency sounds. The paper by Vanderbilt University’s Daphne Manoussaki, together with NIH researchers Richard Chadwick and Emilios K. Dimitriadis, is published in the March 2 online issue of Physical Review Letters.
Ear Canals in Chinese Frogs
A rare frog that lives in the streams and waterfalls of east-central China is able to make itself heard above the roar of flowing water by communicating ultrasonically, according to new research funded in part by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). The study in the March 16 issue of Nature reports that this type of frog can hear ultrasounds because it has an ear canal. The research may point to why humans and other animals also have ear canals: to hear high-frequency sounds. The research could help scientists to develop new strategies or technologies that help people to hear in environments with high levels of background noise.
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May 2006
Volume 11, Issue 7