Felix Z. Sachs
U.S. Army Ctr. for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine Provisional), Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21010-5422
The U.S. Army has adopted most of the new ACGIH TLVs as criteria in its hearing conservation program. Most significant to the Army program was the change from a non-time-weighted inclusion criterion to the 8-h time-weighted average noise exposure level (TWA). The TWA must now be identified for all Army civilian personnel subjected to hazardous noise exposure and for soldiers working in noise-hazardous industrial operations. This can be accomplished without making noise dosimetry measurements on every single individual suspected of being exposed to hazardous noise. The U.S. Army Environmental Hygiene Agency Technical Guide 181 on noise dosimetry and risk assessment was developed as a guide for evaluating types of noise exposure patterns and includes sampling strategies for dosimetry measurement of TWAs. The statistical basis of the sampling approach will be discussed in some detail. Other changes in the Army hearing conservation program resulting from the adoption of the TLVs will be outlined.