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Impulse Noise

What Does Impulse Noise Mean?

Impulse noises are a type of unwanted sound characterized by sharp, very brief increases in decibel volume.

Quieter impulse noises can register to the listener as a mere nuisance or even ignored altogether. High-decibel impulse noises, however, can cause temporary or permanent hearing loss.

Safeopedia Explains Impulse Noise

Impulse noises are short lived but they can cause permanent damage. For example, the blast of an explosion may produce noise for less than one second, but still result in permanent hearing loss.

Exposure to impulse noise can result in hearing loss, tinnitus, and hyperacusis (an abnormal sensitivity to loud sounds). Non-auditory effects could include hypertension, fatigue, and stress.

Since impulse noise is so brief, it's easy for employees to become complacent about the risks. Employers should stress the need to wear appropriate hearing protection when there is a risk of hazardous impulse noise.


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