A Study of Noise Exposure and Hearing Sensitivity in a High School Woodworking Class The purpose of this study was to determine if noise in a high school woodworking class could contribute to the incidence of hearing loss. Students in the woodworking class served as the experimental group, and students in a technical drawing class were the control group. Four separate experiments were conducted. ... Research Article
Research Article  |   July 01, 1993
A Study of Noise Exposure and Hearing Sensitivity in a High School Woodworking Class
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • James E. Lankford
    Northern Illinois University, DeKalb
  • Denise M. West
    Armstrong Laboratory/Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, OH
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / School-Based Settings / Research Articles
Research Article   |   July 01, 1993
A Study of Noise Exposure and Hearing Sensitivity in a High School Woodworking Class
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 1993, Vol. 24, 167-173. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.2403.167
History: Received January 28, 1992 , Accepted March 11, 1993
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 1993, Vol. 24, 167-173. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.2403.167
History: Received January 28, 1992; Accepted March 11, 1993

The purpose of this study was to determine if noise in a high school woodworking class could contribute to the incidence of hearing loss. Students in the woodworking class served as the experimental group, and students in a technical drawing class were the control group. Four separate experiments were conducted. Experiment 1 consisted of measuring and comparing the sound levels in the woodworking and the technical drawing class environments. In Experiment 2, dosimetry samples of the students in both classrooms were collected. In Experiment 3, the temporary threshold shifts (TTSs) were determined for students in both groups by assessing hearing thresholds at the beginning and end of a single class period. The focus of Experiment 4 was to determine if a threshold shift had occurred in the hearing of the students in the woodworking class over a semester.

Results of this study suggest that hazardous noise levels in the high school woodworking shop caused statistically significant TTS among the students. Relatively low noise doses were recorded, but no significant changes in hearing thresholds from the beginning to the end of the semester were noted. It was concluded that repeated noise exposure in a woodworking class may be a contributing factor to hearing loss among a student population and that a hearing conservation program should be instituted in these high school environments.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The authors thank the administration and the students who assisted or participated in this study at DeKalb High School in DeKalb, Illinois. Appreciation also goes to Dr. William Shearer for his expert advice on this project. This study was based on a master’s thesis completed in the Department of Communicative Disorders at Northern Illinois University by the second author.
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