About the EPA document collection held by the Noise Pollution Clearinghouse.
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Most useful EPA documents
The Ability of Mildly Hearing-Impaired Individuals to Discriminate Speech in Noise
January 1, 1978
The purpose of the investigation was to explore the relationship between hearing level at various audiometric frequencies and speech discrimination in different noise backgrounds. The study was designed specifically to test the American Academy of Opthamology and Otolaryngology's (AAOO) selection of a 26-dB average of 500, 1000, and 2000 Hz, as the point above which hearing handicap occurs. The AAOO method for computing hearing handicap has lately been brought into question for two primary reasons: that the 26-dB fence is too high, and for the exclusion of frequencies above 2000 Hz. The present study, therefore, attempted to see if there were differences among individuals whose hearing was at or better than the low fence, and if so, what factors caused or affected the differences.
May 1, 1976
This booklet is intended for anyone requiring a knowledge of the fundamentals of acoustics and noise. It provides enough detail to allow the reader to become familiar with the physical phenomenon of sound and how it is propagated, described, and , to a certain degree, percieved. A bibliography is provided for those requiring more detailed technical information on specific aspects of this expansive subject.
Acoustic Terminology Guide
June 1, 1978
The development and the acceptance of terminology standards has not kept pace with the increase in environmental-noise nomenclature. As a consequence, not only do the members of the noise control profession witness confusion in the use of terminology, but the public faces a sometimes overwhelming task of extracting substantive information out of noise directives and reports, while wading through ambiguous and confusing terminology. Faced with this problem, the Deputy Assistant Administrator for Noise Control Programs approved the formation of an ad-hoc task group to explore this problem. The group's intention was to generate a standard EPA list of acoustical descriptors, symbols, and units that would be consistent with current standards and usage. To assure that this condition was met, the group employed standards developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Committee on Hearing, Bioacoustics and Biomechanics (CHABA) as a basis for its work. Mr. Daniel Flynn of the National Bureau of Standards participated as a consultant to the group.
Administrative Conference of the United States: The Dormant Noise Control Act and Options to Abate Noise Pollution - Noise and Its Effects
November 1, 1991
In early 1981, the Director of the Office of Noise Abatement and Control (ONAC) at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was informed that the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) had decided to end funding of ONAC and that the matter was non-negotiable. Congress' eventual acquiescence in OMB's action was, and remains, unique. Of the twenty-eight environmental and health and safety statutes passes between 1958 and 1980, the Noise Control Act of 1972 (NCA) stands alone in being stripped of budgetary support. Since Congress did not repeal the NCA when it eliminated ONAC's funding, EPA remains legally responsible for enforcing the regulations it issued under the Act, but without any budget support legislated for that purpose. Moreover, although some of the regulations are now out of date, and others may be inadequate, EPA's lack of budgetary support effectively precludes their amendment. Since the NCA preempts local and state governments from regulating noise sources in many situations, these levels of government may not be able to step into the void created by COngress' decision not to fund EPA. This report considers the future of noise abatement in the United States and what role EPA should play in that function. Part I describes the history of noise abatement in the United States before ONAC was created, during its tenure, and after its abolition. Part II evaluates the role of local and state governments in noise reduction and EPA's relationship to such efforts. Part III assesses the role of the federal government and EPA in noise reduction. The report concludes that it would be unfortunate for COngress to maintain the status quo where EPA has ongoing legal duties, but it has no funding to carry them out. Although Congress could eliminate the federal government's responsibilities for noise abatement, the NCA, with modifications, should remain in force. This does not mean, however, that EPA should merely pick up where it left off 10 years ago. Instead of relying primarily on emissions controls as it did previously, EPA should emphasize abatement approaches that rely on local and state activity, on market incentives, and on coordination with other agencies, private standard-setting groups, and regulatory agencies in other countries.
Analysis and Control of Mechanical Noise in Internal Combustion Engines
July 1, 1982
This report reviews the state-of-the-art for internal combustion engine noise reduction and presents new techniques for reducing engine block vibration and radiated noise. A vibration analysis technique based on measured mobilities was developed as a diagnostic tool foidnfying noise sources and vibration transmission paths. This technique makes it possible to identify and rank order the sources of noise within the engine. New design techniques using resilient bearings and modified cylinder liners are also described.
Analysis of Noise-Related Auditory and Associated Health Problems in the U.S. Population (1971-1975) - Volume 2
March 1, 1982
The First National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES I) was designed to characterize the overall health and nutritional status of the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population aged 1-74 years and to permit examination of the prevalence of specific health conditions on a subsample of adults aged 25-74 years. Analyses presented in this report are based on the national probability subsample of 6913 adults aged 25-74 years who were administered an audiometric test as well as detailed questionnaires and physics: examinations dealing with hypertension and a variety of other health conditions. Detailed occupational descriptions were used in the present study to estimate approximate eight-hour noise levels for the sample of 3942 adults aged 25-74 years in the workforce. Among the major findings: 1. Hearing impairment is a widespread health problem in the United States; 2. Occupational noise exposure was identified as a major risk factor associated with the prevalence of hearing impairment among men; 3. Occupational noise exposure was not significantly related to hearing sensitivity among working women; 4. Occupational noise exposure was found to have a weak, but nevertheless significant association with hypertension for both men and women; 5. Among men, occupational noise exposure was associated with overall physical health, whereas among women, it was associated with only overall psychological health; and 6. No conclusive relationships were found between occupational noise exposure and the remaining indicators of specific health conditions.
Annoyance, Loudness, and Measurement of Repetitive Type Impulsive Noise Sources
November 1, 1979
This study was undertaken to evaluate subjective and objective aspects of moderate levels of noise from impulsive sources. The study excluded evaluation of hearing damage risk or annoyance from building vibration by high level impulsive noise, which were covered by recent recommendations of the National Research Council, Committee on Hearing Bioacoustics and Bomechanics, Working Group 69. While the study included original investigations into some of the objective aspects of impulsive noise, a detailed review of the literature on the subjective aspects was emphasized. Based on this available literature, the annoyance and loudness from a wide variety of repetitive impulse noises were evaluated. These results were applied to the evaluation of impulsive noise from a number of specific noise sources. Based on the most pertinent literature, it is tentatively concluded that a subjective impulse correction factor of +7 dB applied to the A-weighted equivalent sound levels of these types of repetitive impulsive noise sources would better define their effective level in terms of annoyance reactions. No additional correction is identified at this time for crest level or repetition rate. Research on subjective correction factors for helicopter blade slap is also reviewed and potential reasons for the smaller subjective correction factors (i.e. 0 to 6 dB) for annoyance response to this type of sound are discussed. It is recommended that refinements to this subjective correction factor be based on the use of standard loudness calculation methods (Stevens Mark VII or Zwicker) modified to include provision for a shorter time constant to reflect subjective response to short duration impulsive sounds. The study also included a brief experimental evaluation of the measurement of a wide variety of simulated repetitive impulsive-type signals varying in duty cycle, repetition rate, pulse frequency, and ratio of peak impulse signal level to continuous background noise level. When repetitive impulses are measured using maximum values of A-weighted (slow) readings on an Impulse Sound Level Meter, no objective correction is necessary in order to measure, with an accuracy of +/- 1.5 dB, the equivalent level (Leq) of the wide variety of impulsive signals investigated.
Aviation Noise Effects
March 1, 1985
This report summarizes the effects of aviation noise in many areas, ranging from human annoyance to impact on real estate values. It also synthesizes the findings of literature on several topics. Included in the literature were many original studies carried out under FAA and other Federal funding over the past two decades. Efforts have been made to present the critical findings and conclusions of pertinent research, providing, when possible, a "bottom line" conclusion, criterion or perspective for the reader. Issues related to aviation noise are highlighted, and current policy is presented. Specific areas addresses in the report include the following: Annoyance, Hearing and Hearing Loss, Noise Metrics, Human Response to Noise, Speech Interference, Sleep Interference, Non-Auditory Health Effects of Noise, Effects of Noise on Wild and Domesticated Animals, Low Frequency Acoustical Energy, Impulsive Noise, Time of Day Weightings, Noise Contours, Land Use Compatibility, Real Estate Values. This document is designed for a variety of users, from the individual completely unfamiliar with aviation noise to experts in the field. Summaries are provided at the beginning of each section; references are also included.