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January 1974

Noise-Induced Hearing Loss and Snowmobiles

Author Affiliations

Mt. Pleasant, Mich
From Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Mich.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1974;99(1):45-51. doi:10.1001/archotol.1974.00780030049008

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of high-speed snowmobile engine noise on the auditory mechanism. Pre-exposure hearing tests were obtained on 21 racing drivers (42 ears) and five snowmobile mechanics (ten ears). Sound-pressure-level measurements were obtained on representative samples of high-speed engines and also on spectator areas around the race track. All data was collected at Michigan's largest snowmobile racing event, the International 500 at Sault St. Marie, Mich.

Results of this study indicated that the racing snowmobiles produced intensities at ear level as great as 136 dB(A) (two thirds throttle). Measurements taken within the spectator area ranged from 85 dB(A) to 113dB(A). Such intensities were thought to be responsible for the high-frequency impairment found in all of the drivers and mechanics.

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