Lankford, James E.
M.A. (Master of Arts)
Department of Communicative Disorders
Deafness; Noise induced; Noise--Physiological effect; Woodwork (Manual training)
The purpose of this study was to determine if the noise levels in a high school woodworking class contributed to the incidence of hearing loss among the student population. Students in the woodworking class served as the experimental group, and students in the 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 technical drawing classroom environments. The intensity in the woodworking shop ranged from 85 to 100 dBA with peaks up to 114 dBA. In Experiment 2, dosimetry samples of the students in the classroom environments were collected during several different class periods. Results yielded relatively low levels of exposure (1.3 to 10.4 percent dose) for the woodworking class. Experiment 3 determined the temporary threshold shift (TTS) for each student by assessing hearing thresholds at the beginning and at the end of a single class period. Temporary threshold shifts of 10 dB or more were obtained in 71.3 percent of those students in the woodworking class, with the greatest amount being 25 dB at 6000 Hertz (Hz) for one subject. Experiment 4 determined if any permanent threshold shift (PTS) had occurred in the students in woodworking class after a semester by assessing their hearing thresholds at the beginning and the end of a traditional academic semester. A very slight PTS was seen in the woodworking class at 4000 Hz. The results from this study suggest that the noise levels of the high school woodworking shop were sufficient to cause substantial TTS but minimal PTS in some of the students. It was concluded that the woodworking shop environment may be a contributing factor in the incidence of hearing loss among this student population. A hearing conservation program including an educational component, annual monitoring of hearing sensitivity, and mandatory utilization of hearing protective devices should be instituted in these environments.
West, Denise M., "A survey of noise exposure and hearing loss in a high school woodworking class" (1988). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 858.
viii, 80 pages
Northern Illinois University
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