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Surprising airbag hazards among research findings at hearing safety conference

At the National Hearing Conservation Associations 32nd annual conference, top experts in the field will reveal new findings related to automobile airbags, military hearing protection, and farm-work related trauma. Several hundred people are expected to attend the conference, titled "A Passion to Preserve," which will be held Feb. 15-17 at the Hyatt Regency in Savannah, Ga.

Permanent hearing loss is the third most common chronic health condition in people over the age of 65, and roughly 30 million people in the United States have significant permanent hearing loss.

"The extent of the problem in society is much greater than people realize," said NHCA Director of Education Brian Fligor. It deserves so much of our time, attention and resources because so much of it is preventable, and it has such a profound effect on our quality of life, productivity, and general well being.

The conference will host dozens of presentations, including auditory physiologist Dr. G. Richard Prices "Intense Impulse Noise: Hearing Conservations Poison Gas," which has surprising new data on hearing loss as a result of automobile airbag deployment. He will present data predicting that 17 percent of people who are exposed to car airbag deployment in the United States will suffer some permanent hearing loss. Price will also describe research that concludes, counterintuitively, that having car windows rolled up when airbags are deployed is actually less hazardous to the ear than rolled-down windows. Previously experts thought rolled-up windows were more dangerous because they allow for higher pressure to be created inside the cabin.

Dr. Nancy Sprince, of the University of Iowa College of Public Health, will be presenting "Hearing Loss: A Risk Factor for Farm-Work Related Traumatic Injury," in which she will discuss a new study showing that hearing difficulties increase farmers risk of work-related traumatic injuries. She will advocate the preventio
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Contact: Turner Brinton
tbrinton@aip.org
301-209-3136
National Hearing Conservation Association
8-Feb-2007


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