Hearing Safety Devices: System for Monitoring Exposure to Impulse Noise

This CDC-developed technology entails a system for monitoring and assessing the risk of auditory damage from exposure to impulse noise, such as noise created by construction machinery and firearms. Noise dosimeters have been used extensively over the past two decades to document personal exposure to noise and assure workplaces comply with permissible noise exposure levels. However, due to older methods of calculating "noise dose," current noise dosimeters often inaccurately determine the risk of an impulse event. Further, current state-of-the-art noise dosimeters have a sound pressure level (SPL) dynamic measurement range of about 80-146 dB, which is adequate for some impact noise environments, but cannot accurately measure impulse noise levels above 146 dB. When a dosimeter is used to measure a noise level greater than its dynamic range, the dosimeter “clips” the noise level at the upper end of its measurement range, resulting in errant assessments of noise exposure.

The system described by this technology can be used to measure exposure to impulse noise and replace older, "clipped-range" dosimeters. Additionally, this new technology will improve the collection of empirical data for establishing association of noise levels with hearing loss.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Assessment of potentially hazardous levels of impulse noise
  • Use by law enforcement officers, DOD infantry, armor and artillery personnel, and workers in the construction trades
  • Improving collection of empirical data to gauge risk and establish links to possible causes of hearing loss
  • This technology will accurately quantify noise dose and measure impulse noise and avoid "clipping" artifacts associated with currently available noise dosimeters.

Development Stage:
In situ data available (on-site)


Chucri Kardous (CDC)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
US Pat: 7,401,519 issued 2008-07-22
PCT Application No. PCT/US2004/022499 filed on 2004-07-13
US Application No. 10/564,860 filed on 2006-01-11

Kardous CA, et al. PMID 12851012
Kardous CA, et al. PMID 15238316
Kardous, CA, "Development and validation testing of an impulse noise meter," U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, In-Depth Survey Report EPHB-349-11a, September 2013. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/surveyreports/pdfs/349-11a.pdf
Kardous CA, et al. Noise dosimeter for monitoring exposure to impulse noise. Appl Acoust. 2005 Aug;66(8):974-85. DOI 10.1016/j.apacoust.2004.11.007

Licensing Contact:
Karen Surabian, J.D., M.B.A.
Email: karen.surabian@nih.gov
Phone: 301-594-9719

OTT Reference No: E-225-2013-0
Updated: May 27, 2014