Elliott H. Berger
Cabot Safety Corp., 7911 Zionsville Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46268-1657
The noise exposure of occupational populations and their resultant noise-induced hearing losses have been well studied in the literature. However, the same cannot be said for those exposed off-the-job and/or recreationally. To better understand the ``normal'' development of hearing loss with age (presbycusis plus sociocusis) data on societal noise exposure is required. This was recently high-lighted by Berger et al. [Combatting Noise in the '90s: A National Strategy for the U.S. (ASHA, Rockville, MD, 1991)]. As a result of his participation in this conference, the first author became interested in this problem and began an informal study to collect 24-h noise exposure data on primarily nonoccupationally noise-exposed friends and co-workers living in Indianapolis, IN. Data from the subjects who were asked to ``wear'' dosimeters 24 h/day for week-long periods, will be presented and anecdotal findings will be reviewed. Thus far, the average 24-h L[sub eq] across the available sample of 14 people, is 77 dBA with the lowest observed 24-h L[sub eq] equal to 56 dBA and the highest value found to be 90 dBA.