DS/ISO 1999:2014

Acoustics - Estimation of noise-induced hearing loss

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This International Standard specifies a method for calculating the expected noise-induced permanent
threshold shift in the hearing threshold levels of adult populations due to various levels and durations
of noise exposure; it provides the basis for calculating hearing disability according to various formulae
when the hearing threshold levels at commonly measured audiometric frequencies, or combinations of
such frequencies, exceed a certain value.
NOTE 1 – This International Standard does not specify frequencies, frequency combinations, or weighted
combinations to be used for the evaluation of hearing disability; nor does it specify a hearing threshold level
(fence) which it is necessary to exceed for hearing disability to exist. Quantitative selection of these parameters is
left to the user. All sound pressure levels stated in this International Standard do not consider the effect of hearing
protectors which would reduce effective exposure levels and modify the spectrum at the ear.
The measure of exposure to noise for a population at risk is the noise exposure level normalized to a
nominal 8 h working day, LEX,8h, for a given number of years of exposure. This International Standard
applies to noise at frequencies less than approximately 10 kHz which is steady, intermittent, fluctuating,
irregular, or impulsive in character. Use of this International Standard for sound pressures exceeding
200 Pa (140 dB relative to 20 ìPa) is recognized as extrapolation.
Formulae are presented to calculate the hearing loss, including statistical distribution, at a range of
audiometric frequencies due to exposure to noise as a function of level of noise exposure and duration of
exposure (in years). The formulae do not distinguish between male and female populations.
NOTE 2 – Although the models of hearing loss are based on data assumed to stem primarily from populations
exposed to occupational noise, they may be used, with some caution, for estimating the effects of comparable nonoccupational
and combined exposures.
NOTE 3 – The prediction method presented is based primarily on data collected with essentially broadband,
steady, non-tonal noise.
To calculate hearing threshold levels and the risk of acquiring hearing loss due to noise exposure, it is
necessary to make use of a comparable population. This International Standard contains a definition of
a highly screened ontologically normal population (in accordance with ISO 7029) and three examples
of unscreened populations of three typical industrialized societies. The users of this International
Standard may choose a comparable population according to their particular requirements.
NOTE 4 – All data and procedures presented in this International Standard are based on deliberate simplifications
of experimental data where the daily sound exposure duration did not exceed 12 h. The resulting approximations
restrict the validity to the stated ranges of the variables, percentages, sound exposure levels, and frequency ranges.
This International Standard is based on statistical data and therefore cannot be applied to the prediction
or assessment of the hearing loss of individual persons except in terms of statistical probabilities.

Number of pages: 36

Published: 2014-07-03

Date of approval: 2014-06-26

International relationships : ISO 1999:2013 IDT

ICS: 13.140 - Noise with respect to human beings

Item number: M257903



  • ISO/TC 43
  • ISO/TC 43/WG 1

Danish committee