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March 1986


Author Affiliations

Nottingham, England

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1986;112(3):334-335. doi:10.1001/archotol.1986.03780030098023

To the Reply.—May I bring to the attention of your readership a review of the literature on the controversial topic of possible auditory hazards from nonoccupational noise exposure (sociacusis) conducted by the Medical Research Council's Institute of Hearing Research. It was commissioned by the United Kingdom Health and Safety Executive and published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office in August 1985.

Despite the unsatisfactory quality or insufficient scope of most of the literature it is possible to reach some general conclusions: the sound levels of many leisure activities do contain significant risk for people who experience prolonged exposure or unprotected exposure to very high-level noise (eg, from firearms). However, given the present use of the 90-dB(A) limit in many countries' occupational hearing conservation programs, noisy leisure activities are unlikely to be an important factor in noise-induced hearing loss in the population. Further research should concentrate on the less well-documented parameters