AIBS Peer Review of AHAAH
American Institute of Biological Sciences Scientific Peer Advisory and Review Services Peer Review on the Human Research and Engineering Directorate (HRED) Method for Assessing the Risk of Auditory Injury for Hearing-Protected Soldiers Exposed to Impulse Noise
CDR Rickie R. Davis, Ph.D.
Hearing Loss Prevention Section
Centers for Disease Control and Protection
Daniel L. Johnson, Ph.D.
Interactive Acoustics, Inc.
Carrick Talmadge, Ph.D.
National Center for Physical Acoustics
University of Mississippi
Michael Holthouser, M.D., M.P.H.
Health at Work, Norton Healthcare
April 2, 2001
- Tina A. Rosenthal, M.H.S., Project Coordinator
- William L. Daniels, Ph.D. Program Manager
- John Lively, B.S., Project Associate
- Scientific Peer Advisory and Review Services
- American Institute of Biological Sciences
107 Carpenter Drive, Suite 100
Sterling, Virginia 20164
Phone: (703) 834-0812 Fax: (703) 834-1160
In December 2000, the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC) tasked the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) to convene an independent scientific peer review of the HRED method for assessing the risk of auditory injury for hearing-protected Soldiers exposed to impulse noise from weapon systems during training. The purpose of the review was to evaluate the scientific validity of the HRED method and to determine if in its current state and using sound pressure level data collected by weapon developers, it is a suitable replacement for the current MIL-STD-1474D. The methodology was developed to evaluate and model the parameters of noise and noise effects on human ears.
The review was held on January 30 and 31, 2001 at US Army Research Laboratory (USARL) in Aberdeen, Maryland. The Terms of Reference, list of reviewers, meeting participants, and agenda, were provided in appendices. The reviewers were provided with background information and a CD-ROM that could be used to run the model prior to the meeting.
Charge to Panel
The reviewers were asked to evaluate the HRED impulse noise auditory injury assessment method focusing on the following eight questions provided to the Panel by the USAMRMC.
- Is the assessment method based on sound scientific principles?
- Does the method adequately protect the noise-exposed population from a well-defined auditory injury?
- Has the method been validated by the existing human exposure data sets?
- Is the accuracy of the method in determining acceptable exposure conditions adequate for use as an occupational exposure standard?
- Will the method remain valid and retain necessary accuracy as the impulse noise characteristics change (e.g., longer and shorter sound pressure wave duration, complex and reverberate environments) and as the hearing protections devices change?
- Is the method’s assessment of the XM 232 MACS reasonable and can this assessment be used in place of a human volunteer noise exposure study of this system?
- Does the method provide clear guidance on the hearing protection devices that will be acceptable under the conditions assessed?
- Is the HRED assessment method, in its current state and using sound pressure data as weapon developers currently collect it, a suitable replacement for MIL-STD-1474D for general application in limiting exposure of hearing-protected Soldiers to impulse noise?
Panel members independently reviewed material provided by the presenters prior to the meeting and attended one and a half days of presentations and discussions on the model. The Panel and AIBS staff compiled this evaluation of the model. The Panel approved the final report prior to its submission to the USAMRMC.