The Effect of Ice Hockey Official Helmet Visor Length on Exposure to Whistle Noise
Research has shown that ice hockey officials can experience a decrease in auditory acuity after officiating ice hockey games. We evaluated the effect of helmet visor length on the sound pressure level of whistle noise to which ice hockey officials are exposed to determine if visors increased the sound pressure level. A Knowles Electronic Manikin for Acoustical Research with an in-ear microphone and a sound level meter were used to measure noise levels during whistle blowing. The manikin was equipped with an ice hockey helmet and three visor configurations: no visor, a short visor, and a long visor. A pea whistle was mounted adjacent to the manikin's mouth and configured to produce approximately 115 dB of whistle noise. We found that measured noise levels in the manikin ear were significantly different (p< .001) depending on helmet and visor configurations. Our study results suggest that longer helmet visors might increase ice hockey officials' noise exposure. These results are of importance to environmental health professionals in recognizing noise sources that can increase the risk of noise-induced hearing loss from recreational noise exposure.
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Speaker / Author:
William J. Brazile, PhD, CIH, CSP, Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, Colorado State University
Karin L. Adams, PhD, CIH, Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, Colorado State University