Dennis L. Williams
Dept. of Commun. Disord., Penn State Univ., 5-A Moore Bldg., University Park, PA 16802
Octave-band ambient noise levels measured in 136 diagnostic and 202 industrial audiometric test rooms were compared with the maximum permissible ambient noise levels (MPANLs) specified in ANSI S3.1-1991. The mean octave-band ambient noise levels for the diagnostic rooms were less than the ears covered but higher than the ears not covered MPANLs for each test frequency range specified in ANSI S3.1-1991. Specifically, 68 (50%), 69 (51%), and 112 (82%) of the diagnostic rooms met the ANSI ears covered MPANLs for the 125- to 8000-Hz, 500- to 8000-Hz test frequency ranges, respectively; however, only 14 (11%) for the 125- to 8000-Hz and 250- to 8000-Hz test frequency ranges and 39 (29%) for the 500- to 8000-Hz test range met the ANSI ears not covered MPANLs. The mean octave-band noise levels for industrial rooms were lower than the ANSI ears covered MPANLs for the 500- to 8000-Hz test frequency range except at 250 and 500 Hz where the levels exceeded the ANSI MPANLs by 2.4 and 6.4 dB, respectively. For the industrial rooms, 66 (33%) met the ANSI ears covered MPANLs for the 500- to 8000-Hz test range. Overall, both the diagnostic and industrial test rooms most often failed to meet the ANSI MPANLs at 250 and 500 Hz. Implications for diagnostic and industrial hearing testing will be discussed.