Comparison of NIOSH noise criteria and OSHA hearing conservation criteria

Patra Sriwattanatamma, Patrick Breysse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: This study was conducted to compare noise exposure measurements based on the recently revised noise exposure criteria recommended by the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the current U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hearing Conservation Amendment to the occupational noise standard. Methods: Daily 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) personal noise exposures were obtained for 61 workers using dosimeters set simultaneously to the NIOSH and OSHA Hearing Conservation Amendment (OSHA- HCA) criteria. A variety of work groups with the potential for noise exposure were evaluated as a part of this investigation. Results: Noise dose based on the NIOSH criteria was higher than the corresponding OSHA-HCA noise dose with differences in noise exposures measured under the two criteria equal to 6.6 dBA. Should the new NIOSH recommendation on noise measurement be adopted as standard, the number of workers to be enrolled in a hearing loss prevention program was estimated to increase by 2.7-fold from 23% to 75% of the study population. Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that if the NIOSH criteria are to be adopted as an OSHA standard, there is likely to be a substantial increase in the number of workers in hearing conservation programs. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)334-338
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000


  • Hearing conservation
  • Hearing loss
  • Noise
  • Noise exposure standards
  • Noise-induced hearing loss
  • Personal noise exposures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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