Canucks For Kids Fund 

September 15, 2016

vancouver_canucks_logo_3956

CPE raises funds for Canucks For Kids Fund (CFKF) through the sale of their Canucks branded dB Blocker™ hearing protectors.

Custom Protect Ear (CPE) will donate $5 to CFKF from every sale of their Canucks-branded dB Blocker™. The Canucks for Kids Fund dedicates resources to assist charities which support children’s health and wellness, foster the development of grassroots hockey, and facilitate and encourage education in British Columbia.

canuck-blockers-webCPE also supplies the Vancouver Canucks with hearing Protectors for use by the Canucks NHL and AHL players and members of their management.

As North America’s largest personalized industrial hearing protector manufacturer, hearing conservation is CPE’s only business. In every workplace, sporting, entertainment or home environment CPE helps protect you from noise induced hearing loss. To get Canucks-branded dB Blockers™ contact us today! 


For more information regarding dB Cares™, or how we both might become better partners in cause related initiatives, call or email us.

We’d love to hear from you.

Are Noisy Workplaces Creating More Stress For Workers?

August 9, 2016

Are Noisy Workplaces Creating More Stress For Workers?

In our North American “stressed out” society are noisy workplaces creating more stress for workers spending large portions of their day exposed to high levels of noise? Nearly 30 – 50 Million Americans are exposed to dangerously high levels of workplace noise, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication disorders, NIDCD.
stressed employees

Cara James, executive director of the American Tinnitus Association states that “Workplace noise exposure is a growing national health issue that seriously jeopardizes the long-term well-being of workers and the overall productivity of businesses”.

Read Full Article 


Did You Know?

Custom Protect Ear has an array of hearing products that can help reduce stress and hearing loss in the workplace. Our Flagship product dB Blockers™ are hearing protection products made to fit the individual’s ear exactly, this gives the worker a custom hearing protector (earplug) that they can wear all day long, while receiving “REAL WORLD” (what the wearer actually receives) attenuation. See how easy it is to wear dB Blocker hearing protection. dB Blockers™ custom molded hearing protectors (earplugs) are made from the Skinsoft™ blend of medical grade silicones, which is as soft and flexible as your own skin.

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

Can allergies play a role in hearing loss?

May 27, 2016

Can allergies play a role in hearing loss?

You are suddenly concerned that you have ringing in the ears or sounds appear more distant. You are asking people to repeat themselves and turning up the volume on your TV because you just can’t hear as well. Could these be symptoms of hearing loss? Yes, absolutely! Should you be concerned? Yes, absolutely! Are these signs of permanent hearing loss? No – not necessarily – they could be signs of either seasonal or perennial allergies!

Allergies?

You may have temporary hearing loss due to symptoms of allergies affecting your inner ear.

In the U.S. it is estimated that one in five people either have allergy or asthma symptoms. The number of people with chronic allergy-like symptoms such as runny nose, congestion and cough but actually have non-allergic rhinitis instead is one out of three. 

Allergies rank 5th in leading chronic diseases in the U.S.  

Seasonal Allergies have their affect on people normally in spring, summer or early fall. Most often they are caused by sensitivity to pollens from either trees, grasses, weeds or airborne mold spores. allergy-grass-pollen

Perennial allergies affect people year round and usually are because of sensitivity to something a person is constantly being exposed to such as dust mites, mold spores or animal dander from cats, dogs or rodents.

Another cause of allergies could be a reaction to certain substances or clothing. Some people using hearing aids or hearing protection devices can actually react to the material the device is made from. Other concerns from HPD’s could be improperly fitted or improperly vented devices causing a build up of pressure or moisture in the ear. The dB Blockers™ HPD’s from CPE are fitted to each employee exactly – eliminating ear pressure. They are also composed of SkinSoft™ a hypoallergenic, non-flammable silicone blend of material.

How do allergy symptoms affect hearing loss? 

When you are exposed to an allergen your bodies natural defence system kicks in. Your immune system responds to allergens by producing antibodies that release histamine as a way to fight off foreign invaders. The release of histamine produces several reactions.

  • Inflammation – caused by the widening or swelling of the blood vessels to increase the blood flow to the area affected to speed up the healing process. This can cause nasal or earallergy1 canal congestion.
  • Fluid escaping from capillaries into surrounding tissue which most often shows as a runny nose and watery eyes and possibly excess fluid in the inner ear.
  • Mucous production to line and protect the area affected.
  • Constriction of smooth muscle such as the smooth muscle around the bronchi of the lungs. – making it harder to breathe.
  • Itch perception and skin rash – be cautious of using anything introduced into the ear such as cotton swabs.

These reactions can all cause discomfort and possible hearing loss for the duration of the exposure to the allergen.

How does the ear respond? 

The ear is divided into 3 distinct sections, inner, middle and outer. The allergy responses mostly affect the middle ear. The Eustachian tube which acts as a drainage tube and pressure release valve can become swollen. As well fluid or mucous can also build up, creating two concerns. One is a smaller drainage area and the second is the clogging of the drainage area.

This can lead to increased pressure with resulting discomfort or pain and less ability for the inner ear to transfer the sound waves necessary for hearing. It also can cause dizziness or light headedness. The combination of swelling and increased fluid can also promote a good breading ground for infection to begin which could lead to permanent damage.

What can you do to help prevent hearing loss?

Even if hearing loss caused by allergies is temporary this can be devastating to a child learning to speak. They may miss out on critical learning periods. To an adult this can lead to work place concerns of missed work or inability to hear properly on the job which could result in safety concerns or inability to understand directives given.

Having a full assessment by a qualified Audiologist is of high importance to access the extent of hearing loss and also rule out any other causes. Limiting exposure to known allergens or improving overall health to help the body handle exposures can all be positive steps to take. During acute allergic responses particularly if for longer durations of impaired hearing the hearing solution may be through the use of devices to aid in your hearing.

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 2.01.50 PMThe dB Blocker™ Classic Intercanal Vented hearing protection device by CPE PEUS may be an answer to those who need to improve hearing. Vented Intercanals were designed for persons who need to converse and work in and out of noise. This hearing protector (earplug) enhances conversation with other workers in a noisy workplace and could be used to enhance hearing with the inner ear concerns of allergy responses.  Click Here to Learn more: 

Sounds you can’t hear can still hurt your ears

March 10, 2016

All the shopping and socializing at this time of year can be enough to give you a headache, but could it actually be damaging your hearing?

On top of all the voices in busy stores and restaurants, many businesses pump up the music volume. So, when Global News received an email from a viewer concerned about noise levels, we decided to do an (admittedly unscientific) investigation.

Using a sound level meter and a smartphone app, we measured the decibel levels in various areas of an Edmonton mall with our viewer, Penny Jones

Read Full Article. 

Sounds you can’t hear can still hurt your ears

What is it about Edmonton that makes them conscious of damaging our hearing. Several years ago, research done in Edmonton showed the noise levels at playoff hockey games exceeded what would be considered toxic in workplace.  Same thing happens with football games in Seattle.  Now, once again Edmonton has shone a light on this persistent problem.

too loud

Let me pose a question. What would be the response to 20% of the people of Edmonton, Chicago,  Paris, or London were all suffering from the same ailment; the same disease. I think the response would be significant.  

Over 20% of those working in noise suffer from some noise induced hearing loss (NHIL); an industrial disease. Contrary to popular belief, NIHL is not just the result of an  exposure to loud noise. It caused by the ears being tired from constant exposure to more sound than they can process in a 24 hour day.  Articles like this one, that alert the public to be aware of noise from all types of sources.  It increases our sensitivity to this problem. Imagine working all day in a loud workplace with proper hearing protection. Now add to that the noise from the mall or the game.  Your poor tired ears!

(The article talks about a smart phone sound measurement app. Very few of these apps are accurate enough to be used for more the curious interest). 

So please be aware of how often you are exposed to noise. Whenever you can, limit the level of exposure AND the time. When you get a break at work, move to quiet.  Let your ears “catch their breath”.  As my Jewish Grandma would say, “it couldn’t hurt”.   

Jeffrey Goldberg.

 

Oil and gas workers suffering hearing loss at double the rate of other noisy industries

February 4, 2016

Oil and Gas workers suffering from hearing loss

It is no secret what is happening in the oil and gas sector with all the cut backs and downsizing. The oil and gas sector has seen 100,000 job at the end of 2015, including 40,000 direct jobs, as a combination of policy uncertainties and low crude oil prices decimates the sector.

But that is not all we are seeing or hearing from the Oil and Gas sector……

According to Worksafe BC Oil and gas workers suffering hearing loss at double the rate of other noisy industries. Over one third show signs of hearing loss according to WorkSafeBC. 

Oil & gas

Drilling and pipeline work is noisy business and according to a new report it’s taking an alarming toll on the hearing of workers in B.C.’s gas and oil industry.

In a bulletin WorkSafeBC says those oil and gas patch workers are experiencing noise-induced hearing loss at a rate of 33 per cent, over twice the rate of workers in other noisy jobs.

“It raises a few alarm bells,” said Budd Phillips, regional prevention manager with WorkSafeBC in Fort St. John. “Approximately one-third of workers were starting to show signs of noise induced hearing loss.”

WorkSafe doesn’t know if ear protection is absent, improperly used, or just inadequate for all the noise. But Phillips says companies need to do a better job making sure their employees are protected. Workers often don’t use the ear protection they are given, said Art Jarvis of Energy Services B.C. — which speaks for 1,600 companies working in B.C.’s gas patch.

“Definitely if you’re working beside a frac crew with screaming engines, that’s a noisy location,” said Jarvis.

The report is based on tests conducted in 2014 and notes that young workers are most likely to forego hearing protection devices entirely, with 27 per cent of those under-21 reporting they didn’t use hearing protection. WorkSafeBC regulations requires that employers provide workers with CSA rated hearing protection and test them annually when workplace noise exceeds a certain exposure limit. Only 15 per cent of oil and gas workers were tested in 2014.

BC WORKPLACE BULLETIN

In times of changing economy and declining high prices sector, it is very important that companies and workers take the extra precautions to ensure they are compliant with safety standards. Today workers are forced to consider job diversification, so in doing so it is important to make sure your senses are in tact. 

International Ear Care Day: ProtectEar

March 2, 2015

Ear Care Hearing loss

What is International Ear Care Day?

It’s an initiative of The World Health Organization to focus attention on the damage we are doing to our ears.

Let me pose a question.

What would be the government’s response to 1/3 of a population coming down with the same disease?

  • 2 million people in New York develop the flu.
  • 5 million people in Southern California develop Chicken Pox or Measles.

The response would most certainly be swift and decisive.

Noise Induced Hearing Loss

Did you know that 1/3 of the people working in noise have a workplace illness called Noise Induced Hearing Loss. Now it is not exactly the same as acquiring a deafness illness, however the damage is done because the onset of their hearing loss has taken place over many years; whereas in the scenarios I sighted above the onset of the disease is more immediate.

Many of us wonder how did this happen?

For years hearing professionals have been trying to determine why people suffer from hearing loss. We certainly know these industrial sites and noises can be loud and damaging. Not only do we routinely measure how loud they are, we also measure how much of that loudness workers are exposed to. So we know the danger. We also have devices and processes to do something about that danger.

For example, there are companies capable of engineering the noise out of facilities. How prevalent is that? United Technologies recently won the prestigious Safe-in-Sound award from NIOSH (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, a Branch of the Center for Disease Control) and The National Hearing Conservation Association for removing enough noise from their workplaces to move 80% of their noise exposed workers (8,000 people) from their hearing conservation programs world wide. We are also educated in ways to protect our hearing when exposed to noise.

Hearing Loss – A bigger problem

Hearing protection devices have been around since the 1930’s with companies like Honeywell, 3M, and Custom Protect Ear committed to finding better ways to make hearing protection. So what’s the problem?

Let’s start with engineering the noise out of facilities. A recent pole of Canadian companies suggested that about 10% of them measure the noise exposure of their workers. That does not mean they don’t know what noise levels they have; they do. (The difference between noise level and noise exposure is how much time the worker spends in what level of noise). It’s the amount of noise a worker is exposed to over a given time that the company has to control; but many companies don’t know what that is. Protecting their workers based on the noise level rather than noise exposure usually means that in most cases you’re actually over protective. This is based on the assumption that someone who works in 95 decibels of noise seldom is in the noise for 8 hours, without breaks.

Then where’s the problem?

The following contains some conjecture unproven, as yet, by independent study

Most organizations will provide their workers with hearing protectors sufficient to protect their hearing from the noise they are exposed to. Some of the workers will use it properly and some don’t. To understand why, we need to look at the human condition. Dr. Barry Blesser states that since man first descended from the trees, it is our hearing that has been our primary safety sense. Hearing can detect dangers we can’t see. Unlike other senses, the ears are fully functional when the human is born; the rushing waterfall hidden by the trees, a large animal crashing through the undergrowth, a charging wildebeest coming around a rock are audible before they are visible. It is possible we are genetically wired to rely on our ears to keep us safe.

The one thing we can assume about places with loud noises is that something dangerous is making that noise. Then to protect our hearing from that loud noise we usually render them partly or fully non-functional by plugging them. At this point I need to point out that Custom Protect Ear’s dB Blockers are hearing enabled. They don’t block as much as manage the noise to the ear to a safe level. Given our human propensity to keep safe, especially in loud threatening noise, is it any wonder workers choose safety for the whole human over safety for their ears? Often they disable the full protection the hearing protection device offers. I think it’s to keep safe.

As I said, this has yet to be conclusively proven by independent study but the fact remains that workers routinely don’t leave their earplugs fully in place when exposed to noise. What’s the solution? A recent roundtable at the National Hearing Conservation Association Annual Conference in New Orleans agreed that we need to know the answers to the question of Why workers disable their protection. Until we do, we should provide workers with hearing enabled devices, with effective education as to their use, and the dangers of not using it. We owe it to them. Especially on International Ear Care Day.

Jeffrey Goldberg | President
Custom Protect Ear

dB Cares™ about Breast Cancer

September 22, 2013

Together Change is Possible… db Cares

dB Cares™ is a Custom Protect Ear initiative created to address the impact our doing business has on the environment and to help support the people and communities where we live and work. CPE donates a portion of what we make to charity each year. One of our community initiatives is a program that partners with our customers to support breast cancer research. By matching the $5.00 added to the purchase of each pair of pink Blockers, CPE donates $10.00 to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

dB Cares™ contribution to Breast Cancer Water Obstacle

This is a subject that is close to many of our hearts, and we are excited to report that through the diligent efforts of our reps and valued customers, through our dB Cares Program we have raised $18,519.00 in donations to breast cancer research. We presented this cheque to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation in August 2013 (pictured below). 

db cares

dB Cares™ For The Community

dB Cares Breast Cancer

Your support of our products allows CPE to donate a portion of what we make to charity each year, and facilitate ways in which to raise additional money for causes that touch our stakeholders personally. Some of the ways we commit ourselves to the community are:

  • – Fund raising for community initiatives.See what we’re doing for Breast Cancer Research.
  • – Giving support to local food banks.
  • – Supporting community centers that offer programs for the economically disadvantaged.
  • – Encouraging our stakeholders to become more actively involved in their local communities.

 

Learn how you can be apart of dB Cares. 

Should We Legislate Music Players?

August 24, 2011

Recently, Open Medicine, an online medical journal, ran an opinion piece by Dr. Kapil Khatter recommending the Canadian government regulate the volume digital music players could output to 85 dB.. While Dr. Khatter’s recognition of the problem is commendable, his suggested solutions are probably unworkable and don’t really address the problem.

Dr. Brian Fligor’s research into the effects of personal digital music players has shown that it is not just volume that causes the damage; it is also the exposure time. Dr. Khatter suggests limiting the exposure to 85 dB which physiologically still leaves 25% of the population open to hearing damage. To be 100% safe, 80 – 82 dB should be the target.

Dr. Khatter further makes the point that “ear bud headphones may produce sound that is up to 10 dB louder than standard headphones. Firstly, there is no acoustic principle at work that would allow ear buds to be louder than headphones. The loudness would be a function of the dynamic design of the listening instrument itself whether ear buds or headphones. I believe what Dr. Khatter is referring to might be the need of the ear bud user to drown out background noise that might be otherwise blocked by a headphone cup that covers the ear.Wholesale Snapbacks
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All of these issues aside, the idea that legislation can solve this problem is fatuous. If Canada legislates a sound level for digital music players, buyers would order them from the U.S. or buy them there. Currently, the IPod has a feature that limits the output to 85 dB, which users can turn on or off. No, Dr. Khatter, what is needed is research, education, and a culture modification.

On the research front, what we need to understand is why people turn their players up so loud. Dr. Barry Blesser has some great thoughts on why that happens which we will share in a future blog. Dr. Brain Fligor is also researching the subject. We need to understand why so we can figure out how to change this behavior.

Once we understand why people will knowingly damage their hearing (they don’t knowing damage their sight or sense of taste or smell) we can educate them as to options. Dr. John Franks, a member of the Custom Protect Ear Scientific Advisory team, is currently doing some research into how to create conditions that would allow listeners to turn down the volume. Through research and education, in concert with government, we can get the knowledge of hearing damage from music players into users hands.

With all of this, perhaps we can create a culture similar to that in Europe, where listening at a safe level is much better understood. A recent presentation to the annual National Hearing Conservation Association annual conference showed use of hearing protection by club and concert goers in Europe to be 4x that of North Americans. We need to understand why.

You may be wondering what I’m taking such a hard stance. Dr. Khatter’s article is obviously well intentioned and trying to achieve the same goals as we are at CPE  – the prevention of hearing loss. Our concern is that if we try to solve the problem with legislation and think our job is done we will not achieve the desired aim. In fact we might achieve exactly the opposite outcome. By making digital music players function in a manner that is incompatible with what the users in Canada think they want them to do, we merely reinforce how ill informed and ineffective government is without solving the problem. We need to get users to reduce their exposure (volume over time) willingly. That means understanding the motivations and educating to change outcomes.