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Potential contributors to hearing impairment due to community noise sources are discussed. These include: (a) the predisposing effect of moderately intense (70 dBA) average background sound levels; (b) the “effective quiet” concept that identifies sound levels that neither cause a temporary threshold shift (TTS) nor impede recovery from TTS; (c) community noise source stress reaction as a further predisposing influence during dangerously high level noise exposures; and (d) attitudinal factors involved in noise experience discussed in terms of a “pleasure principle.”
noise, equivalent sound level (, L, eq, ), community noise, predisposition to noise exposure, susceptibility
Professor, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tenn.