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NIOSH Contributes Hearing Loss Prevention Research to JASA Special Issue

December 9, 2019
NIOSH Update:

MEDIA CONTACT: Nura Sadeghpour, , 202.245.0673

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The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) provided major contributions in a recently-published special issue of the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (JASA) on noise-induced hearing loss, with 6 papers accepted. The research submitted by members of NIOSH’s Division of Field Studies and Engineering (DFSE), located in Cincinnati, explores the use of animal data in studying human hearing loss prevention, and the different populations that are affected by hearing loss issues.

For workers in noisy environments, hearing loss due to tasks at the jobsite can be common and create serious injuries. Nearly 25% of adults sampled nationally showed signs of possible noise-induced hearing damage. The new JASA Special Issue: Noise-Induced Hearing Loss: Translating Risk from Animal Models to Real-World Environments, aims to describe patterns of injury caused by dangerous noise among various populations, and understand what animal models or data are best applied to these various populations, in order to determine potential drug interventions that may help reduce these injuries.    

The DFSE researchers authored several articles and studies that contribute to the JASA special issue goals, providing summaries of exposure, application of animal models in various populations, the differences across individuals within those populations, and the inner workings of hair cell death and hearing reflexes.

“By understanding the mechanisms of hearing loss and ways to prevent it, NIOSH can provide recommendations about how to implement these new research findings in hearing loss prevention programs to the benefit of millions of workers,” says William Murphy, one of the lead authors of the NIOSH studies and editors of the special issue.

Specifically, the NIOSH-authored contributions to the JASA special issue provide:

  • An introduction and summary of noise-induced hearing loss and the application of animal models and animal data to human hearing loss and prevention in various environments.
  • Noise surveys related to firearm noise exposures in the military, looking at both indoor and outdoor firing ranges.
  • A study of middle-ear muscle contractions and clinically-measured acoustic reflexes to brief sounds.
  • A review of occupational noise exposure: its effects, epidemiology, and impact with recommendations for reducing its burden.

The JASA issue is the 10th special issue of its kind. To access the journal, please visit To find out more information about NIOSH’s work in hearing loss prevention and bioacoustics, please visit

NIOSH is the federal institute that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths. For more information about NIOSH visit