How much do you love your hearing and why you should.

February 14, 2017

How much do you love your hearing and why you should.

Of all the five senses it seem that hearing is the most ignored and the most taken for granted. Our generation (Boomers, X&Y) have not done a very good job at preventing hearing loss until its too late.

Whether your 17 or 55 years old, we have all done some sort of damage to our hearing…. 

Some of us have worked in loud noisy places and haven’t really considered protecting our ears except with the odd foam earplug, which are only good for one shift. Or we have worked in an environment where the noise was gradual but still loud and did nothing to protect our hearing since it wasn’t top of mind.

Or how about everyday uses to protect your hearing from noise pollution. Over the past 10 years we all have been embracing iTunes, iPods, Podcasts, SmartPhones, Audiobooks etc. But have we really considered the extra strain all of these technological advances have impacted our ears? Well if you LOVE YOUR HEARING, then I suggest you start.  Remember we live with our hearing and we should love our hearing as it one of the 5 senses that allows to hear the wonderful things in life; things to consider next time you crank up that new hit song, or put in disposable instead of personal hearing protection.

Love your hearing

From all of us at ProtectEar USA – HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!


Basic Facts About Hearing Loss

  • About 20 percent of Americans, 48 million, report some degree of hearing loss.
  • At age 65, one out of three people has a hearing loss.
  • 60 percent of the people with hearing loss are either in the work force or in educational settings.
  • While people in the workplace with the mildest hearing losses show little or no drop in income compared to their normal hearing peers, as the hearing loss increases, so does the reduction in compensation.
  • About 2-3 of every 1,000 children in the United States are born with a detectable hearing loss in one or both ears.
  • Almost 15% of school-age children (ages 6-19) have some degree of hearing loss.

SOURCE: http://www.hearingloss.org/content/basic-facts-about-hearing-loss

The Quantification and Reporting of Hearing Protection Attenuation

February 8, 2017

ProtectEar has produced a series of three articles regarding the challenges to knowing how much protection is given to an associate in a hearing loss prevention program. This the 2nd article in the series, deals with the quantification and reporting of attenuation. The initial article dealt with the history of trying to measure and report attenuation. The final article deals with “After Hearing Loss Prevention, then what?” What are the next steps a firm can apply to go beyond the current practice in hearing loss prevention?

The Quantification and Reporting of Hearing Protection Attenuation

What is the NRR?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was charged by the Noise Control Act of 1972 with developing and enforcing regulations pertaining to Product Noise Labeling. As a result the EPA developed 40 CFR 211 Subpart B – Hearing Protective Devices, in which the Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) was defined. The NRR is a single-number rating which has been required by law to be shown on the label of each hearing protective device (HPD) sold in the United States since 1979.

NRR

Before any HPD may be sold in the United States, the manufacturer or distributor must have it tested according to the requirements of the law, submit the data to the EPA, and provide the NRR along with corollary information on the HPD’s packaging. The NRR was intended to allow the consumer to select an HPD appropriate for the noises in which it would be used to prevent noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). The law requires that the values of sound attenuation used for calculation of the NRR be determined in accordance with ANSI S3.19-1974. It matters not whether the HPD is intended for protection from occupational or recreational noise, or even to reduce the impact of traffic noise or the snoring of a partner on sleep, it must be labeled with the NRR label and corollary information.

Real-ear attenuation at threshold (REAT) is determined by carefully measuring the hearing thresholds of ten (10) normal-hearing members of a subject panel. Their hearing thresholds are measured for narrow bands of noise in a highly specified acoustic environment. Each subject is tested twice; ears open and ears occluded with the HPD being tested. The experimenter-fit method defined in ANSI S3.19 is used. Rather than allowing the subject to put on or remove the HPD, the experimenter fits the hearing protector to the ear of each test subject for each occluded test for what they consider is a best fit. REAT is the difference between the thresholds with the ears occluded and the ears open. Each subject repeats the paired open/occluded test three (3) times. Mean attenuations and standard deviations are calculated in accordance with the standard.

NoiseHealth_

The NRR calculation is specified by the EPA’s law, not the ANSI S3.19 standard. The NRR is computed from the mean attenuations and standard deviations of the attenuations for each of the nine (9) narrow bands of noise. The NRR is intended to predict the minimum amount of protection provided to 98% of potential users.

How has the NRR been used?

The Hearing Conservation Amendment to the Occupational Noise Standard (OSHA, 1983) describes six methods for using the NRR to determine a worker’s protected A-weighted noise exposure. These methods vary according to the instrumentation and parameters used to determine the unprotected noise levels. However, they can be summarized into two basic formulas, depending on whether unprotected exposure levels were measured on a C-weighted or an A-weighted scale. For C-weighted measurements:

Protected dBA = unprotected dBC – NRR

where the protected dBA and the unprotected dBC are 8-hour time-weighted average1s (TWA1s) determined according to the Occupational Noise Standard.

This method is how the NRR was designed to be used. For example, if a protector has an NRR of 17 dB and it is used for an TWA[i] of 95 dBC, the noise level entering the ear could be expected to be 78 dBA [95 – 17 = 78] or lower in 98% of the cases if the protector is worn according to manufacturer’s specification as fitted by the experimenter during the testing.

For A-weighted measurements:

protected dBA = unprotected dBA – [ NRR – 7]

Where, again, the protected and unprotected dBA are 8-hour time-weighted averages determined according to the Occupational Noise Standard (1093).

This method is an adaptation for those whose instrumentation does not have C-weighting capabilities. The 7-dB correction factor is used to account for the de-emphasis of low-frequency energy inherent to the A-weighting scale.

So, for example, if a protector has an NRR of 17 dB and it is used for an environmental noise exposure level of 95 dBA, the noise level entering the ear could be expected to be 85 dBA [95 – (17 – 7) = 85] or less in 98% of the cases.

Problems with the NRR

A study by Berger, Franks, and LIndgren, (1996) evaluated data from 22 studies of real-world REATs. They found that labeled NRRs for the HPDs studied over-estimated the reported REATs by as little as 5% and by as much as 2000%.

NIOSH reevaluated the data and consequently recommended derating the NRR by a multiplicative factor of 75% for earmuffs, 50% for slow-recovery formable earplugs, and 30% for all other earplugs (NIOSH, 1998). The NIOSH derating scheme did not affect the 7-decibel dBC-to-dBA correction as it was applied to the NRR only. Derating was not applied to custom-molded earplugs, however, so they may range from extremely effective (meeting labeled NRR) to completely ineffective (providing no protection at all). It all depends upon the quality of the impression and the quality assurance of the laboratory making the earplug.

OSHA’s approach to using the NRR, while recognizing the NIOSH derating scheme, is to derate the NRR by 50% regardless of hearing protector type when considering whether an HPD will provide adequate hearing protection for a given noise exposure level expressed as a TWA.

Thus, if the noise exposure level were made in dBA, most often the case, the protected exposure level for a 95-dBA exposure and an HPD with an NRR of 29 dB would be 84 dBA – [95 – ((29-7)/2)], 1 dB less than the OSHA Action Level (OSHA, 2016).

So, what do I do with the NRR?

The best approach is to recognize the NRR for what it is: a number derived from a laboratory test that for most pre-molded earplugs and formable (foam) earplugs represents a fitting that you and your employees will not achieve. OSHA’s approach as defined by CPL 02-02-03 dated December 16, 1983 is as follows:

  • Use the NRR as the laboratory-based noise reduction for a given hearing protector.
  • Apply a safety factor of 50 percent; i.e., divide the calculated laboratory-based attenuation by 2.
    • NOTE: This is a general method for taking into consideration OSHA experience and the published scientific literature, which indicate that laboratory-obtained attenuation data for hearing protectors are seldom achieved in the workplace.
    • If a different or no safety factor seems appropriate in a particular instance, it may be used instead. For example, for laboratory-made custom-molded earplugs, NIOSH recommended that no safety factor (derating) be applied.
  • The adjusted noise reduction should be sufficient to meet requirement that the protected noise exposure level be less than the OSHA Action Level of TWA < 85 dBA.

So, if you are using custom molded earplugs, you can take the NRR on the label at face value and apply it as suggested above without applying a safety factor or derating it. For the custom molded earplug, it seems to not matter whether the experimenter or the subject fits it for testing. The outcome is about the same[ii]. 

What is the NRR(SF)?

A New Rating: A new “subject fit” or naïve subject method of measuring HPD attenuation can be used to calculate a different rating; the NRR(SF). The people (subjects) in this laboratory test fit their own protector according to the manufacturer’s instructions without the help of the person conducting the test. While the subjects are very well trained in taking hearing tests, they do not use HPDs regularly, have not participated in an experimenter-fit procedure, and have only used a few HPDs without formal training (hence naïve subject). Compared to the NRR shown on the current EPA label, the NRR(SF) is usually a lower rating that may be closer to the performance of the hearing protector in the real world.

The NRR (SF) was developed by the National Hearing Conservation Association’s (NHCA) Task Force on Hearing Protector Effectiveness to address labeling related issues (Royster, 1995).

How do I use the NRR (SF)?

The NRR(SF) is intended to be used directly with A-weighted noise exposure levels. Thus, the NRR (SF) is subtracted from the A-weighted noise exposure to provide the protected exposure level:

Protected dBA = unprotected dBA – NRR(SF).

If the C-weighted noise exposure level is used, a 3-dB adjustment is made to account for predicted differences in the A and C levels (recent re-evaluations of the noise databases that were used to developed the NRR (SF) found the A- versus C weighted difference to be 3 dB, not 5 dB and not 7 dB).

Protected dBA = unprotected dBC -3 dB – NRR(SF).

Where can I find the NRR(SF)?

The adoption of the initial version of ANSI S12.6 in 1997 as the standard that replaced ANSI S3.19-1974 did not change the regulatory requirements that all protectors sold in the United States be labeled with the NRR as described above and obtained by testing according to the experimenter-fit method of ANSI S3.19-1974. After ANSI 12.6 was adopted and ANSI S3.19 was rescinded, many hearing protector manufacturers began testing their products in accordance with Method B, the subject-fit method. However, only a few manufacturers have released the data. As other jurisdictions outside of North America have started to demand data from testing procedures similar to Method B of ANSI S12.6, many companies have complied. The NRR(SF) is used in Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand. Every HPD sold in Brazil is tested by an approved Brazilian laboratory by Method B of ANSI S12.6-1997 before the HPD may be sold in Brazil. Australia and New Zealand require every HPD sold in those countries to have been tested by Method B and then labeled accordingly with the NRR(SF), but the testing may be done by a laboratory anywhere.

A search of the Internet or direct inquiry with the company may result in access to Method B data and a value similar to the NRR(SF). The NIOSH online Hearing Protector Device Compendium lists most of the HPDs sold in the United States and shows the NRR(SF) for many of them. The Compendium also lists the Internet website for almost all the manufacturers, which may provide more information.

Can I legally use the NRR(SF)?

Yes. OSHA has recognized the NRR(SF) as an alternative the NRR as another way to apply a safety factor to the NRR.

If you are considering two devices, one of which has both an NRR and NRR(SF), select the device with the NRR(SF) and apply it to the equations above to determine if it can provide adequate protection.

The best value for protected level is between 70 and 80 dBA. A protected level of less than 70 dBA indicates potential over protection. A person who is overprotected may be isolated from the larger acoustic environment, unable to hear warning signals and fellow workers. As such, the overprotected worker can be a safety hazard. There are reports of workers being injured and killed because they were unable to hear warning signals or the sound of approaching vehicles because they were wearing HPDs that provided too much attenuation. The primary complaint that workers have reported about used HPDs are that they can’t hear fellow employees talking to them and that they can’t hear their equipment. It isn’t unusual to see a worker lift an earmuff cup or remove an earplug to talk with a fellow worker, and then replace it, a type of action that undoes the effectiveness of the HPD. Carefully selecting HPDs to avoid overprotection could also ameliorate the hazard potentials and worker attempts to work around using HPDs.

If the protected value is above 80 dBA, the worker will be under protected. Under protection can result in the development of NIHL despite using the HPD.  NIHL is insidious. It starts gradually and will generally go unnoticed until the hearing loss begins to interfere with communication. NIOSH’s definition of material hearing impairment (Franks, et al., 1998) is such that a person can suffer a change in hearing up to the point of developing a material impairment without noticing any change in day-to-day auditory function. Beyond that point, the hearing loss becomes an impairment. NIHL will usually cross the line from loss to impairment within the first five years of exposure. It is often observed that under protected workers develop NIIHL.

Any hearing loss prevention program that relies upon the NRR(SF) instead of the NRR and insures that workers are neither under or over protected will be successful in preventing NIHL and will have no problems with OSHA nor another other regulatory agency.


References

American National Standards Institute. (1974) American National Standard for the Measurement of Real-Ear Hearing Protectors and Physical Attenuation of Earmuffs. ANSI S3.19-1974, American National Standards Institute, New York, NY.

American National Standards Institute. (1997) Methods for Measuring the real-ear attenuation of hearing protectors. ANSI S12.6-1997 American National Standards Institute, New York, NY.

Berger, E.H., Franks, J.R., and Lindgren, F., International Review of Field Studies of Hearing Protector Attenuation, In A Axelsson (Ed), Scientific Bases of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss, Chernow Editorial Services, Inc, New York, 1996

Environmental Protection Agency. (1979). 4 0 CFR Part 211 – Product noise labeling, Subpart B – Hearing protective devices. 44 Federal Register 56139-56147.

Franks, JR. Merry, CJ Stephenson, MR, Themann, CL, Prince, MM, Smith, RJ, Stayner, LT, and Gilbert.SJ (primary authors) Chan, HS (document manager). Criteria for a Recommended Standard: Occupational Noise Exposure, Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) 98-126, Cincinnati, OH (1998)

Johnson DL and Nixon CW (1974) Simplified methods for estimating hearing protector performance. Sound and Vib 8(6):20-27.

Kroes P, Fleming R; Lempert B. (1975). List of personal hearing protectors and attenuation data, NIOSH Technical Report, HEW Publication No. (NIOSH) 76-120.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (2016) Hearing Protective Device Compendium. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/noise/hpdcomp/.

Royster LH. (1995). In search of a meaningful measure of hearing protector effectiveness; Recommendations of the NHCA’s task force on hearing protector effectiveness. Spectrum 12(2):1, 6-13.

U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (1983). Occupational Noise Exposure: Hearing Conservation Amendment; Final Rule. 48(46) Federal Register 9738-9785.

U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (1983). 29 CFR 1910.95(b)(1), Guidelines for Noise Enforcement; Appendix A.

U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (2016). OSHA Technical Manual: https://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/otm/new_noise/index.html

[i] Time Weighted Average –The permissible exposure limit (PEL or OSHA PEL) is a  legal limit in the United States for exposure of an employee to a chemical substance or physical agent such as loud noise. A PEL is usually given as a time-weighted average (TWA), A TWA is the average exposure over a specified period, usually a nominal eight hours. For noise, the PEL is a TWA8 of 90 dBA with an excursion limit of 115 dBA. The TWA involves a trading ratio of time and intensity, which for noise is 5 dB so that the allowable exposure time doubles or halves as the sound level decreases or increases by 5 dB.


These articles were written for ProtectEar by Dr. John R. Franks, former Chief of the Hearing Loss Prevention Section of the Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Cincinnati, OH

If you’ve missed any articles in the series let us know.  

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Modifying Your Work Environments for Safe Noise Exposure

November 30, 2016

Modifying Your Work Environments for Safe Noise Exposure

As an Owner or Employee who oversees your workplace environment for safety, have you also investigated how you can reduce hazardous noise in those work environments? What are some ways you can effectively modify your work environments for safe noise exposure?

The 1st Step should be understanding the impact noise exposure has on your workers, staff and visitors entering the workplace area.

Beside considering the noise exposure of your associates and the potential noise induced hearing loss (NIHL), consider the effect noise has on their stress and therefore their safety.  Recognizing the high impact that noise will have on many different levels to your workers can help you introduce the correct measures and the degree of importance to ensure these measures are introduced and what time frames they are introduced in.

What are your regulatory levels for noise safety levels?

Understanding accurately your regulatory levels and reporting requirements will allow your enhanced compliance and safety for your workers. What are your company standards for noise safety levels? Do you plan to exceed the regulatory recommendations and provide even safer levels? Do you also factor in the time exposure as safety levels are set in accordance with the amounts of time exposure permitted at certain levels? Do you have an accurate time clock practice to ensure that workers on longer shifts or shifts that may overlap 24 hour periods are still falling within the safety parameters? Do you also have a way to determine the exposure of visitors or workers who travel within different areas of noise exposure?

Assessing your work environments.Hearing conservation

Assessing your various work environments from many factors will ensure a much more accurate safety level. Assessing:

  1. Your current machinery and other equipment used for their sound levels.
  2. What new modifications exist or can be created for your current machinery or equipment?
  3. What new equipment is available on the market that may impact your decision to possibly replace equipment?
  4. Your worker’s exposure to noise – are there other options such as physical sound barriers that could be implemented in certain work areas?
  5. How you measure noise levels – are noise levels being correctly determined by the noise measuring tools you use and are you correctly measuring under differing conditions that may impact how those noise levels are recorded?
  6. The possibility of isolating a noise source to an area that will limit the amount of people exposed to that noise.
  7. Regular maintenance and check up of equipment and machinery to eliminate or diminish noise based on improperly functioning equipment.
  8. The work area where the noise takes place. Is this an enclosed area that may need or be able to have sound muffling measures added? Is this an open area where sound may travel with less precision or under differing weather or environmental conditions? For example, working on a road crew in an area that has cliffs or in a valley setting where noise can boomerang and creating even higher noise levels vs a stretch of road that is open and flat may produce very different levels of noise exposure to your workers.
  9. Your warning postings in areas of high levels of noise or warning posting devices if machinery is turned on that suddenly creates a new level of noise.

Assessing your training and compliance of your workers in high noise levels areas. Below are some key questions regarding noise exposure. hearing protection

  • Do your workers understand the concerns to their hearing health from NIHL?
  • Have they been supplied the proper information to protect their hearing while on the job?
  • If they use personal hearing protection devices, are they properly fitted and appropriate for the noise levels they may be exposed to? Are they being worn?
  • Does your company supply frequent assessments of both the workers hearing and the protection device they wear? Does your company provide your workers the appropriate device for their personal use?

 

There are many ways that you can ensure and increase the noise safety in your workplace environment creating a win-win environment for all. Learn more about personal hearing protection and Fit Check Training. 

 

Can Concert or Stadium Arena noise be cause for hearing concerns?

November 8, 2016

Can Concert or Stadium Arena noise be cause for hearing concerns?

Enjoying your favourite music concert may be putting your hearing at risk!

Are you aware of noise induced hearing loss (NIHL)?

For many of us, we do not fully understand the concern of being exposed to loud noises. Intuitively we will cover our ears or “cringe” when a loud noise interrupts us but what happens when we put ourselves in potential “harms way”? What happens when we head off for an enjoyable night out at our favourite music bands concert? What happens when we head into an arena packed full of boisterously cheering fans for a fun time supporting our favourite sports team? Can concert or stadium arena noise be cause for hearing concerns?

Did you know? Concert Hearing Concerns

Did you know that Rock concert speakers have been measured at 110 – 140dB – loud enough to cause human pain or even rupture eardrums? This is not limited to “Rock” concerts but even the amplified noise of a “quieter” band has been measured in the range of 90 – 110dB or higher. Stadium crowd noise can even reach 130 dB. So, what do those decibel levels translate to when we are discussing noise induced hearing loss – NIHL?

concert

 

Noise levels above 140 dB are not considered safe for any period of time, however brief. For children, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends no exposure above 120 dB.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health suggests even lower levels. The NIOSH daily permissible noise level exposure for sound levels at:

  • 85dBA is 8 hours per day,
  • 90dBA is 2 hours per day,
  • 94dBA is 1 hour per day,
  • 97dBA is 0.5 hour per day,
  • 100dBA id 0.25 hour per day or less,
  • Over 112dBA is 0.

According to these suggestions a concert or stadium arena setting with noise levels above 112dBA would not be tolerated at all without concern for hearing loss!

Some professional singers have expressed their concern over hearing loss and are being proactive in protecting their hearing. Performers such as “Sting” and Chris Botti are also reaching out to inform people of the concern for protecting hearing. Read more…

“I hope that with The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary as a partner, Chris Botti and I are able to remind people of the critical need to protect their hearing,” says Sting, who narrated a Public Service Announcement (PSA) released by The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary

SEE MORE CELEBRITY PROTECT EAR WEARERS. 

How may concert goers are heeding this warning about Hearing Loss?

We want to enjoy our concerts and stadium arenas so what are some options to protect our hearing?

Some concert promoters have now started to offer earplugs for sale during performances as public awareness to the problem of NIHL grows. As public awareness grows so does the need for Concert Promoters and Arena Managers to protect their ticket holders from noise induced harm and themselves from possible legal action.

To get top enjoyment and hearing protection at the same time you may want to investigate types of hearing protection that filters noise so that you can still hear conversations and enjoy the music or activity you came to be a part of.

Solving the Noise Induced Hearing Loss Problem by Asking the Right Questions

July 13, 2016

Solving the Noise Induced Hearing Loss Problem by Asking the Right Questions: Part One of a Two Part Series

By Jeffrey Goldberg

As former U.S. Surgeon General William Stuart once said, “Calling noise a nuisance is like calling smog an inconvenience. Noise must be considered a hazard to the health of people everywhere.

People have known this about noise and its effects on hearing for decades and yet noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) remains epidemic in the workplaces of America. Why? Maybe as Bertrand Russell once noted, “In all affairs, it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.”

Noise Induced Hearing Loss Problem: Regulating Noise

nihl

Let’s examine why we haven’t made more progress eliminating NIHL. It starts with the history of noise as an industrial hazard. The history of hazardous noise is well defined. As early as the beginning of the last century, noise was recognized as an industrial hazard.

Though the measure of the noise was difficult to achieve at that time, because it wasn’t accurately measurable, NIHL was recognized but not quantified nor were any limits on exposure set. After a series of studies by the military and military sponsorship of civilian laboratories after World War II through the mid-1960s, 90 A-weighted decibels (dBA) was determined to definitely be a level above which actions to limit exposures were necessary. Therefore, 90 dBA was written into the U.S. Occupational Noise Standard in 1969 as part of the legislation as the permissible exposure limit (PEL). The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was directed to develop the rest of the regulation to define the steps necessary to form an effective hearing conservation program.

It is recognized that approximately 25 percent of workers whose daily exposure level (LEX,8h) is above 90 dBA will develop NIHL. Although the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) revised its own recommended exposure limit down from 90 to 85 dBA and further recommended a 3-dB exchange rate instead of the earlier 5-dB exchange rate in the legislation, today the 90 dBA PEL remains in the U.S. OSHA regulation.

Read Full Article here: 

 

Written by Jeffrey Goldberg | Chairman of Protect Ear 

Jeffrey Goldberg | CPE Chairman

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the next article, I’ll suggest some solutions to the NIHL conundrum. Look for the July issue of Workplace Safety for some innovative if scientifically unsupported ideas about solving the NIHL problem.

Custom Protect Ear (CPE) funds a home for a Cambodian family through the World Housing Initiative

July 11, 2016

Custom Protect Ear (CPE) funds a home for a Cambodian family through the World Housing InitiativeWorld Housing

Surrey, British Columbia, Canada July 11th, 2016

Custom Protect Ear (CPE) reaches out to a struggling family in Phnom-Penh to provide a home for the family of six to live in. Through the humanitarian organization of World Housing with their mission of “A home for everyone”, CPE Chairman, Jeffrey Goldberg and President Howard Raphael at CPE contributed $5,000.00 to build the home that now provides security and stability for Sam and his family.

Sam, his wife and 4 children moved from their village to Phnom-Penh so the children could have access to education. Selling coconuts and then cane juice to earn a living did not provide enough income for a home. Unable to pay rent they slept at the Pagoda. Now with a place for their children to sleep protected from mosquitoes and a place for them to study, Sam’s dreams for a better life for his family are beginning to unfold.

Read More about World Housing 

About World Housing:

World Housing helps provide homes for families living in slums around the world. In the city of Phnom Penh, Cambodia in just 2 short years more than 360 homes housing more than 1800 people have been built for families in need. With help from Private and Corporate funding like CPE, World Housing is able to provide homes for these impoverished families.

 

CPE through their dB Cares Foundation helps causes and charities.

World Housing
Graham Brewster and Alex Holme of World Housing presents a “Thank You” plaque to Howard Raphael and Jeffrey Goldberg of Custom Protect Ear (CPE) while wearing scarves that were made in Cambodia by people in the community of the housing project.

CPE gets involved in Fort McMurray Wildfires!

July 5, 2016

Custom Protect Ear (CPE) contributes to $18,000 worth of donations to Fort McMurray Wild Fire Destruction

Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, July 5, 2016

Custom Protect Ear is proud to contribute to $18,000 worth of funds to the Fort McMurray Wildfire Destruction in Alberta. Raging fires wreaked havoc on the city of Fort McMurray, Alberta in the month of May, 2016. Starting May 1st the fire was estimated to cover 589,995 hectares after raging through Northern Alberta and into Saskatchewan destroying approximately 2,400 homes and buildings.

CPE, being a North American Based company was affected by this disaster as the fire impacted their clients and employees. As a result, CPE through the dB Cares™ initiative stepped up to support the community of Fort McMurray with contributions that totalled $18,000.  dB Cares™ is a Custom Protect Ear (CPE) initiative created to address the impact our doing business has on the environment and to help support the people and community where we live and work.

CPE Chairman, Jeff Goldberg and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Howard Raphael initiated the support through the combined efforts of the following:

  • CPE employees contributed a total of $3,000.00
  • CPE Chairman Jeff and CEO Howard matched that contribution to raise it to $6,000.00
  • CPE Donated this $6,000.00 to the Canadian Red Cross who matched the funds, bringing the total to $12,000
  • And the Canadian Government also matched the funds to bring the total to $18,000

Cause related initiatives are important to CPE’s culture, and we are committed to assist where we can”, states Howard Raphael, CEO of Custom Protect Ear.

Fort McMurray Wildfires!

About The 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire

The 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire, also known as the Horse River Fire, is a large wildfire burning in Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada.

On May 1, 2016, the wildfire began southwest of Fort McMurray, Alberta. On May 3, it swept through the community, destroying approximately 2,400 homes and buildings and forcing the largest wildfire evacuation in Albertan history.  It continued to spread across northern Alberta and into Saskatchewan, consuming forested areas and impacting Athabasca oil sands operations until mid-June when rain helped firefighters to hold the fire. It may become the costliest disaster in Canadian history.

Fort McMurray Wildfires!

About Custom Protect Ear

Over three decades, Custom Protect Ear (CPE) has grown to be North America’s largest personalized industrial hearing protector manufacturer. CPE is the leader in providing effective, verifiable, and noise level matched hearing protection at a cost lower than alternative options. CPE devotes all of its research and expertise to the innovation of better hearing protection and has made significant technological advances. CPE serves over 4,500 companies and businesses around the globe; its certified mobile technicians do custom on-site fittings at their industrial sites. Custom Protect Ear has a registered ISO 9001: 2008 quality management system in place, which ensures CPE delivers the finest and most effective hearing protection available on the market.

For further information, please contact:

Laura Bennett
Custom Protect Ear
Phone: 604-635-3250 | 1800-520-0220 ext. 322
Email: lbennett@protectear.com

Happy Canada Day from CPE !

July 1, 2016

Happy Canada Day!

July 1st Celebrations for Canada Day is here. Are you prepared? Do you have your BBQ ready for the summer backyard celebrations? Is your cooler stocked? Your Canadian flags flying?

Are you also prepared to protect your hearing when the fireworks begin? A firecracker going off in close proximity can have a decibel level of 145 dB, loud enough to cause immediate damage to your hearing! What about a popping balloon at 125 dB or crowded stadium or concert noise at 130 – 140 dB where damage can appear in as little as 1-4 seconds with no hearing protection.

Fireworks

Do you have plans that include young children attending a fireworks display? Make sure you protect their hearing as well as your own or other adults in attendance so you can continue to enjoy July 1st celebrations for many years to come.

Canada bday

Bring out your dB Blocker™ hearing protection for your whole family and tell your friends as well. They will thank you to the stars and back… or where those starburst fireworks 😉

 

Happy Canada Day from all of us at CPE – Custom Protect Ear.

Can Your Profession be Causing Hearing Loss?

June 24, 2016

You love your work but does your work love your ears?

If you are involved in these professions you may be at increased risk for NIHL (Noise Induced Hearing Loss).

  • Aviation – ground workers – factory workers – Within 25 meters of Jet take-off the noise level will reach 150 dB. That is loud enough to rupture eardrums. A Boeing 707 or DC-8 before landing is measured at 106 dB. A helicopter at 100 ft is 100 dB. Exposure to dB levels between 100 and 110 will lead to serious damage in as little as an 8 hours exposure
  • Construction Industry – jackhammers (100 – 120 dB), hand drill, belt sander or table saws (95-105 dB),air guns or pneumatic riveters at 125dB, compacting machines or sand blasting at (110 – 115 dB)
    Construction
  • Dentistry – Dental office equipment can also be a source for concern with ultrasonic cleaners at 90 dB, ultrasonic scalers and stone mixers at 85 dB.
  • Emergency / First Aid Responders / Firefighters – 110 – 140 dB of noise is produced by Ambulance or Fire truck sirens causing immediate pain to humans and can also rupture eardrums.
  • Farming – equipment operators can be exposed to noise from tractors (75-110 dB), Combine machines (80-105dB), Crop dusting aircraft or Orchard spray at 85-115 dB). Animals at feeding time in enclosed spaces such as a pig shed at 105dB.
  • Factory – In industry settings, the noise levels can average up to 90-125dB. A textile loom at 103 dB, riveting metal at 130dB, electric and pneumatic tools along with industrial heaters, coolers and venting machines all add to the noise exposure in industrial settings over the 90 dB levels.
  • Forestry Industry – Logging – Mill Workers – a Chain saw is approximately 120 dB – a painful level to endure. Noise from idling trucks and log moving and sorting equipment can expose workers to levels far above safety levels.
Forestry Mill
  • Gardeners & Landscapers – leaf blowers, snow blowers, power mowers (85 to 100 dB), hedge clippers, weed eaters all in very close contact can be a worrisome downside of the job.
  • Garbage Truck Driver – Sanitation workers can be exposed to 85 – 100 dB of noise from their truck – enough to cause tinnitus or possible damage in an 8 hour exposure.
    Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 1.07.35 PM
  • Hunting or Target Shooting – A cap gun at 155 dB ,a 12 gauge shotgun blast at 160-165 dB or a .357 magnum revolver at 165 can all cause immediate and irreversible damage.
  • Military – An Aircraft carrier deck can reach 140 dB levels and a military jet aircraft take-off with afterburner can reach 130 dB both loud enough to cause immediate and permanent damage. A howitzer cannon at 175 dB or a rocket launch at 180dB can have devastating effects on hearing.
  • Music Industry performers and stage crew – singers. Rock concert speakers are measure at 110 – 140dB – again enough to cause human pain or even rupture eardrums. Stadium crowd noise can even reach 130 dB. Some professional singers have expressed their concern over hearing loss and some are being proactive in protecting their hearing
  • Motorsport Industry – Mechanics – pit crews – drivers. A single motorcycle at 100 dB, 114 dB for a driver inside a car during practice or noise levels in the pit of130 dB are all levels of concerns.
  • Road crews / Maintenance / Construction Sites – an auto horn measured at 1 meter can cause pain at 110 dB, an idling diesel truck 80 – 90 dB. Add that to road construction equipment and your exposure levels are dramatically increased.

What dB levels are cause for concern?

Hearing damage can occur at the following levels when exposed for these lengths of time.dB Metre

  • Higher than 85 dBa for 8 hours or more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hearing protection over these far reaching professions and industries is a concern that affects directly or indirectly most people.

You may be directly affected or your hearing loss may have a negative impact on your personal and working life. Understanding the impact that noise can have on your hearing is the first step to taking action. The second is actually protecting your hearing under these conditions.

Contact us to learn more about protecting your hearing. 

Monster Truck Jam is on! How much noise can you handle?

May 18, 2016

Monster Truck Jam is on! How much noise can you handle?

You grab your tickets, pack up the lunch and snacks, hustle the kids out the dMonster Truckoor and head out to the Monster Truck Jam, but wait… what’s missing? What about packing the hearing protection?

Entering an extremely loud noise environment can not only wreck your whole day (kids covering their ears, crying and wanting to escape the noise and begging to leave early) but also negatively impact anyone’s (yours included) hearing.

The WHO (World Health Organization) states on their website that “half o
f all cases of hearing loss are avoidable through primary prevention”. They go on to state that acquired causes that may lead to hearing loss at any age can be from “excessive noise, including occupational noise such as that from machinery and explosions, and recreational noise such as that from personal audio devices, concerts, nightclubs, bars and sporting events”.

So how much noise is too much noise and how long an exposure can be too much exposure?

How can we judge for ourselves when the noise level and length of exposure could be damaging to our hearing? Studies tell us that noise levels higher than 85dBA (in a measurement unit called the A-weighted decibel (dBA)), have been shown to be a cause for concern of noise induced hearing loss. Statistics from Health Canada – Noise induced hearing Loss site are very alarming. Can you relate to being in any of these noise situations?

Due to the noise around you: Means the sound levels are probably: Means you’re at significant risk of permanent hearing loss if exposed daily for:
someone standing a metre away has to shout to be understood higher than 85 dBA 8 hours or more
someone standing 30 cm away has to shout to be understood higher than 95 dBA 45 minutes or more
someone has to shout into your ear to be understood higher than 105 dBA 5 minutes or more

In as little as 5 minutes you can be at significant risk of permanent hearing loss!

Health Canada goes on to warn that: “The sounds around you may also pose a risk of gradual, noise-induced hearing loss if you experience either of these signs after a loud noise has stopped:”

  • a temporary hearing loss – sounds seem muffled, quieter or less clear
  • tinnitus – a ringing, buzzing, roaring or rushing sound in the ear, which has no source outside the ear”

So, maybe you won’t take the kids to the Monster Truck Jam but what other activities can expose you, your family and friends to sound levels above the 85dBA range? Some everyday activities such as:

  • mowing the lawn, using a weed eater, table saw, chain saw or other loud mechanical device
  • even driving a car on the highway with the windows open can be a source of concern.

Add up some of the noise levels you are exposed to that would be considered above the 85 dBA level and how long you are exposed to them. This will have a cumulative effect on your hearing over time.

How can you protect your hearing?

Part of the suggested preventative measures from the WHO include: “reducing exposure (both occupational and recreational) to loud sounds by raising awareness about the risks; developing and enforcing relevant legislation; and encouraging individuals to use personal protective devices such as earplugs and noise-cancelling earphones and headphones”.

Ear plugs, ear muffs and headsets can all offer some forms of mechanical protection. They are not all created with equal protection and some may protect but also exclude your ability to hear conversations or low level noise that you want or need to hear.

The dB Blocker™ Classic (Vented) from CPE is an example of how you can have your fun and protect against devastating hearing loss. Not only can you enjoy your noise filled event but with this model of hearing protection you can actually communicate better than without them! No more shouting in someone’s ear to be heard. The unique proprietary frequency-tuned filter enhances interpersonal communication. No excuses that your kids can’t hear you any more J.

So remember your hearing protection devices when you head into your noise filled fun activities.

Health Canada