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March 1966

Changes in Hearing Acuity of Noise-Exposed Women

Author Affiliations

From E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Medical Division, Wilmington, Del.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1966;83(3):207-212. doi:10.1001/archotol.1966.00760020209005

A PROGRAM of hearing conservation was started by the Du Pont Company in 1953 at one of its textile fiber manufacturing plants. The program included periodic noise level surveys and audiometric testing of all plant employees, regardless of their exposure to noise.

In one area of the plant, noise is generated by the continuous operation of certain types of textile machinery. This noise is steadystate, and its level moderately exceeds accepted criteria * in three of eight octave bands. Workers at this location exposed to noise at this level must be given audiometric tests at least annually, and removed from the area if the tests suggest evidence of noiseinduced hearing loss. Ear protection is not mandatory unless the noise exceeds 95 db in at least one octave band between 300 and 10,000 cps.

The great majority of employees in this so-called textile area are women. The nature of their various jobs

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