protective ear plugs

ANSI Standard for Measuring Attenuation Revised Ahead of Labeling Change

The ANSI/ASA S12.6-2008 American National Standard Methods for Measuring Real-Ear Attenuation of Hearing Protectors has been released, in time for hearing protector manufacturers and hearing conservation professionals to use it in conjunction with EPA's rule changing protector NRR labels. The Acoustical Society of America (ASA) said yesterday that S12.6-200 "will be heavily referenced" in the EPA rule change affecting NRR labels on hearing protectors. That rule is expected by the end of this year or early in 2009.

The standard is available by calling 631-390-0215 or e-mailing asastds@aip.org. It specifies lab procedures for measuring, analyzing, and reporting the passive noise-reducing capabilities of hearing protectors. Two fitting procedures are provided for the human subjects involved in the tests: Method A, the trained-subject fit, and Method B, the inexperienced-subject fit.

Developed by Accredited Standards Committee S12, Noise, the standard does not specify minimum performance values for hearing protectors or address comfort or wearability, according to ASA.

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