The BNL standard is based on current OSHA and ACGIH standards* and provides BNL employees, guests, and visitors with adequate protection against the effects of excessive noise that may occur at BNL. Noise, or unwanted sound, is one of the most pervasive occupational health problems. Approximately 30 million people in the U.S. are occupationally exposed to hazardous noise. About 10 million people have noise-induced hearing loss, nearly all of which were caused by occupational exposures. Fortunately, noise-induced hearing loss can be reduced, or often eliminated, through the successful application of engineering controls and hearing conservation programs. The effects include permanent hearing loss, temporary hearing loss, interference with speech communication and various stress reactions. Continued exposure to high -intensity noise such as generators, motors, air hammers, or other industrial processes can affect hearing and result in a loss of hearing.
*Threshold Limit Values - Acoustic, pp. 101-105, American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists ACGIH standards