USAF to study effects of noise exposure on health


The US Air Force (USAF) is set to begin the Total Exposure Health initiative with the goal of improving warfighters' health by preventing them from being exposed to noise.

As part of the initiative, the USAF will measure all forms of noise that the soldiers are exposed to throughout their day, including sources outside of work.

The two-week-long study also explores the potential benefits of using earmuffs, basic hearing protection and custom form-fitted hearing protection to reduce noise related health issues.

Results from the study will pave the way for further research to prevent hearing loss in soldiers.

Total Exposure Health chief health strategist Dr. Richard Hartman said that the effects of noise are cumulative and measuring only workplace noise exposure fails to account for the other 16 hours of exposure outside the workplace.

Hartman added: “We’re not just collecting noise information and saying you’re above or below.

"We’re using very advanced analytics to produce a course of action.

"This is the reason we chose noise as it’s one we’re all exposed to no matter what your age is, no matter what your profession is.”

Apart from noise, the Air Force Surgeon General initiative will also look into other factors that directly and indirectly affect soldiers' health.

The information provided through Total Exposure Health will help soldiers to reduce harmful exposure to improve chances of survival.


Image:  Two silhouettes and images of what can be harmful to humans. Photo: courtesy of Steve Thompson, AFMS Public Affairs.