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January 30, 1954


JAMA. 1954;154(5):412-414. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.02940390036013

Since the advent of power-driven machinery, man has been beset with the effects of unwanted sound.1 There appears, however, to be a popular misconception regarding the extent of the harmful effects of noise. It is necessary first of all to distinguish between acute exposure (sharp, sudden noises) and chronic exposure (continuous or regularly intermittent noises). The undesirable effects of noise may be classified as (1) effects on efficiency, (2) effects on auditory acuity, and (3) effects on communication. Many studies have been conducted to determine these effects, often with conflicting results. A simplified method of interpreting the results of field surveys, in terms that can be understood by the management in industries and by the public, is needed. Meyer2 refers to a nomogram devised by Beranek that should aid in solving this phase of the problem, and in describing the technique of noise surveys he indicates that failure

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