Common Sense…Of Hearing

When I was eight years old, on one very special Saturday morning every month, my Dad would take me and my brother to downtown Cincinnati, where we’d have breakfast and visit the Carew Tower, which, until earlier this year, was the tallest building in the city. We always went to the observation deck, regardless of the weather. Those trips were among the greatest father/sons moments in history, I’m convinced. I got to see my Dad, a simple country man who was completely out of his element in this urban setting, approach a beggar and slip him some change. With that, I learned about discreet charity and unpretentious humility. One particularly unforgettable morning, over pancakes at our usual diner stop, my Dad noticed that Johnny Bench was sitting two booths down, and encouraged my brother and me to go say hi. Now, this was 1975, when the Big Red Machine was invincible, and Mr. Bench was the Most Important Man In The World. He made me feel like the Most Important Kid In The World that morning, so I thank him…and my Dad…for that.

My Dad was a master of finding, and exploiting, the proverbial silver lining…see, the reason he was making these exciting monthly treks to the Big City was because he was losing his hearing, and was getting his new hearing aids “tuned in” at his doctor’s office, which was located in the Carew Tower. He never let the dark cloud of going deaf get in the way of providing a few hours of excitement and adventure for his sons.

His hearing worsened to a point past the usefulness of hearing aids, and it became a genuine quality-of-life issue in his last few years. I’m serious about preserving my hearing, and being a self-appointed advocate for hearing protection, because of this. OSHA has published a table of Permissible Noise Exposures, which anyone who is regularly exposed to above-conversation-levels of noise should be familiar with. If you wear hearing protection religiously in these environments, good for you. If you don’t, it’s never too late to start.

Compressed air is a notorious source of noise in commercial and industrial environments. Joe Panfalone wrote about the harmful effects of noise pollution in a recent post, and he detailed typical noise levels associated with sources that most of us are familiar with. Contrasting these with OSHA’s limits can put a lot into perspective.

If you know the noise levels you’re subjected to, that’s great. Use that to determine when/where you need to use hearing protection. If you don’t know your environmental sound levels, EXAIR can help. Our Digital Sound Level Meter is easy to use, and allows you to measure and monitor the sound level in your environment. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.

Additionally, the sound levels of many of our products are published in our catalog. Products like our Air Knives and Super Air Nozzles are specifically designed with sound level reduction in mind. They’re also engineered to maximize efficiency, so, in a lot of cases, you can turn down the supply pressure, decreasing the sound level further.

Our sense of hearing is a good thing. Too good to ignore the simple steps it takes to preserve it. If you want to discuss how EXAIR products can help reduce your noise levels, you’ve got my undivided attention. Call me.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax

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