Music from and for Your Ears

January 25, 2018 In the News

Jacob Kirkegaard, sonic artist extraordinaire, hailed for his work inspired by natural phenomena and scientific explorations is making music out of the sounds your ears make. Originally trained at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne, Germany, the Denmark-born artist has numerous critically acclaimed exhibitions and permanent installations under his belt. Starting with recordings of underground geysers or caving of glaciers or even empty rooms in Chernobyl, Kirkegaard has created musical pieces combining the natural acoustics with layers of artistic magic.

As part of his recent residency as the first Sound Artist at St. John’s College (University of Oxford), Kirkegaard used spontaneous otoacoustic emissions as inspiration for a composition he named Eustachia—for 20 voices. While at Oxford, Kirkegaard recorded spontaneous otoacoustic emissions (emissions recordable without any external stimulation) from individuals at the university. Each of these recordings would have contained at least one, but perhaps more than one, spontaneous emission at different frequencies. Kirkegaard analyzed, filtered, and then interpreted groups of these recordings to create a piece first performed by Aarhus Pigerkor in August 2017.

Apparently, the creative process was easy but the composer was worried that the human voice would not be able to hold a set of notes for a substantial period of time. Each performer was given a tuning device to use as a point of reference during the performance. It worked beautifully. You can hear an excerpt and even watch a brief video of Aarhus Pigerkor rehearsing.

See full article here.

Chemo-induced Hearing Loss: Help Patients Cope with the Aural Effects of Cancer Treatment

Tumolo, Jolynn

The Hearing Journal: January 2018 – Volume 71 – Issue 1 – p 26,27,28

As if the cancer isn’t enough. Families preparing for certain types of chemotherapy at Montefiore Health System in the Bronx meet early on with an audiologist, tasked with delivering even more unwelcome news: The treatment that could save your child’s life may also cause hearing loss.

“We often receive the patients and their families when they’re still in shock. We very compassionately offer that information,” said director of audiology Laura Tocci, AuD.


Tocci sighed.

“The best way we can.”

For many patients with cancer, platinum-based chemotherapy agents like cisplatin and the less-common carboplatin can be literal lifesavers. However, a significant number of survivors (estimates range from about half up to nearly two-thirds) experience permanent hearing deficits.

“Essentially, the chemotherapy and chemotherapy byproducts seem to injure the hair cells within the ear, and patients initially lose very high-frequency hearing,” said Adam Levy, MD, pediatric oncologist at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore. “Then, as the chemotherapy is given further, more damage occurs to the hair cells, and lower-frequency hearing is lost.”

Depending on the patient and the treatment protocol prescribed, oncologists can sometimes adjust chemotherapy if hearing loss occurs, Levy explained. That’s why audiologists and pediatric oncologists work so closely at Montefiore—children receiving cisplatin get regular audiograms, and Levy receives the results via email within the hour. Unfortunately, lowering the cisplatin dose or holding off on the agent completely isn’t an option for every patient. “There’s such a great fear of the cancer not being cured when you lower the dose,” he said.

While survival trumps hearing in cancer treatment, chemo-induced hearing loss is by no means getting a free pass. Scientists are making advances in efforts to quell the ototoxic effects of chemo while preserving its tumor-fighting power. Hearing professionals, meanwhile, are coaching patients and other health care providers on how, in the wake of chemo-caused hearing deficits, to maintain as much function as possible.

“It’s a very active area of interest,” Levy said. “How to prevent long-term side effects from the chemo that we give.”

See full article here.

2018 First Quarter CAOHC & NIOSH Course Dates are published




Workplace INTEGRA announces 1st quarter 2018 NIOSH and CAOHC class dates.
See below for our course offerings for the first quarter of 2018 for Hearing Conservation and Pulmonary Function Technician Training:

CAOHC Occupational Hearing Conservation Certification

• January 3-5, 2018 (Toledo, OH)

• January 10-12, 2018 (Greensboro, NC)

January 17-19, 2018 (Ontario, CA)

• January 31-February 2, 2018 (Louisville, KY)

• February 7-9, 2018 (Greenville, SC)*

• February 28-March 2, 2018 (Indianapolis, IN)

• March 7-9, 2018 (Greensboro, NC)

• March 14-16, 2018 (Macon, GA)

• March 14-16, 2018 (Bloom-Norm, IL)

• March 27-29, 2018 (Sacramento, CA)

CAOHC Occupational Hearing Conservation Recertification

• January 4, 2018 (Toledo, OH)

• January 11, 2018 (Greensboro, NC)

• January 18, 2018 (Ontario, CA)

• February 1, 2018 (Louisville, KY)

• February 8, 2018 (Greenville, SC)*

• March 1, 2018 (Indianapolis, IN)

• March 8, 2018 (Greensboro, NC)

• March 15, 2018 (Macon, GA)

• March 15, 2018 (Bloom-Norm, IL)

• March 28, 2018 (Sacramento, CA)

*Greenville classes held at Greenville Technical College

NIOSH Spirometry Initial Training

• January 16-17, 2018 (Greensboro, NC)

• March 13-14, 2018 (Greensboro, NC)

NIOSH Spirometry Refresher Training

• March 15, 2018 (Greensboro, NC)

Our full calendar schedule is here.

A Guide to Industrial Noise, Hearing Loss, NRR and Ear Protection

by: Holly B. Martin

Source: MSC Industrial Direct

Do you know the noise level in the workplace and if it is damaging workers’ ears? From sound-level meters, NRR and noise-dampening materials, get a better understanding of the tools and PPE needed to avoid permanent ear damage.

Ear damage caused by exposure to high noise levels at work can be insidious–it may start out gradually, and if not caught early, can result in permanent hearing loss that is not fully evident until a worker retires.

“Hearing loss from noise is very slow, but very cumulative,” says Dr. Cheryl Nadeau, AuD, senior occupational audiologist at Workplace Integra. “The hair cells [sensory cells] within your cochlea do not ever forget that they have been assaulted by noise.”

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officially recognized the need to protect workers from noise exposure when it published its Hearing Conservation Standard (29 CFR 1910.95) back in 1983. Since that time, scientific studies and advances in testing and hearing protection technologies have prompted further standards and guidance from OSHA and other agencies, such as the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH).

What Are the Health Effects of Noise in Manufacturing?
In addition to causing permanent hearing loss, loud noise is known to negatively affect the entire body, actually increasing blood pressure, changing blood chemistry and decreasing productivity, Nadeau says.

“Noise puts the body into a fight or flight mode, which can wreak havoc on your hormones,” she says. “Studies have shown that people in a high-noise production area exhibit more anti-social behavior and are less likely to help one another because of the seemingly never-ending noise.”

See full article here.

Construction Workers Most Exposed to Loud Noise


Source: OHS online Sep 29, 2017.

Workers in construction and extraction occupations were mostly exposed to loud work (49.6 percent of jobs) or very loud work (7.9 percent) in 2016, according to BLS.

Workers in 75.0 percent of U.S. civilian jobs were exposed to moderate noise levels at work during 2016, and another 13.3 percent were exposed to loud noise levels and 0.7 percent to very loud levels, BLS reported, saying the data come from the Occupational Requirements Survey.

Workers in construction and extraction occupations were mostly exposed to loud work (49.6 percent of jobs) or very loud work (7.9 percent), according to the agency, and more than 7 in 10 carpenters and operating engineers and other construction equipment operators were exposed to loud work environments that year.

Food preparation and serving-related occupations also are exposed significantly to noise: 16.5 percent of jobs were exposed to loud work environments and 82.1 percent were exposed to moderate noise during a typical work day. Bartending jobs were about evenly split between workers exposed to a loud work environment (44.7 percent) or a moderate noise environment (46.7 percent) in 2016.

See full article here.

US embassy employees in Cuba possibly subject to ‘acoustic attack’

by Elise Labott, Patrick Oppmann and Laura Koran, CNN
Updated 12:41 PM ET, Thu August 10, 2017

FBI probes mysterious sonic device in Cuba 01:19

(CNN)The US believes several State Department employees at the US embassy in Havana were subjected to an “acoustic attack” using sonic devices that left at least two with such serious health problems they needed to be brought back to the US for treatment, several senior State Department officials told CNN.

A US government official told CNN that the who, where and when point to “an attack” — the US is investigating whether a third country was involved as “payback” for actions the US has taken elsewhere and to “drive a wedge between the US and Cuba.”
The sophisticated device that operated outside the range of audible sound was deployed either inside or outside the residences of US diplomats living in Havana, according to three US officials.
One official said the employees could have suffered permanent hearing loss as a result.
The employees affected were not at the same place at the same time, but suffered a variety of physical symptoms since late 2016 which resembled concussions.
The State Department raised the incidents with the Cuban government over the course of several months and sent medical personnel to Havana, but have not been able to determine exactly what happened.
“It can be quite serious,” one official told CNN. “We have worked with the Cubans to try and find out what is going on. They insist they don’t know, but it has been very worrying and troublesome.”
“It’s very strange,” one official said.

See full article here.

Military Tries To Cut Through The Noise Of War

Source: NPR July 26, 2017 5:11 AM ET Heard on Morning Edition

U.S. military units have long used technology like night vision goggles to enhance their sense of sight.

Now they’re trying to get a battlefield edge with their ears, too.

The Marine Corps is experimenting with quieted-down weapons and electronic hearing enhancements that could reshape the soundscape of warfare. They want to minimize some sounds and amplify others to get more control over what they and their enemies hear.

About 2,000 Marines have been testing carbines fitted with sound suppressors. The devices have long been used by special operations units, and the Marines want to expand their use into the mainstream infantry.

The primary goal is to reduce the deafening, chaotic roar of firefight noise so that front-line commanders can communicate with their troops.

“The simplest communication is extremely difficult,” said Sgt. Dakota Fox, as he supervised a quartet of young Marines on a Camp Lejeune,

It’s even more of a challenge to communicate in an actual firefight, Fox said, when a dozen Marines or more might be spread across 150 yards, shooting rifles and machine guns at once.

Equipping the weapons with suppressors — cylindrical canisters on the end of the barrel — changes the volume and texture of the sound.

See full article here.

Noise-Induced hearing loss among professional musicians

Source: Journal of Occupational Health
Published November 16, 2016


After presbycusis, noise exposure is considered the second cause of sensorineural hearing loss. Due to exposure to high-intensity sounds, musicians may be at risk of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Given the importance of good hearing in music career, this study aimed to investigate the frequency of hearing loss and use of protective measures among Iranian musicians.


In this cross-sectional study, 125 musicians, including 21 women (16.8%) and 104 men (83.2%), with at least five years of work experience were recruited. All participants underwent clinical and audiometric examinations. Demographic data, complaints about hearing loss, and information about the use of protective devices were collected through interviews.


Audiometric notch in either one or both ears and bilateral hearing loss were present in respectively 42.4% and 19.2% of the participants. The history of tinnitus after performance and ear pain during performance was reported by 64 (51%) and 35 (28%) individuals, respectively. Less than 2% of the participants used hearing protection devices.


Long-term exposure to loud sounds puts musicians at risk of hearing loss. However, due to their inadequate knowledge, most musicians never use protective devices to prevent damage to their auditory system.

See full article here.

Workplace INTEGRA announces 3rd quarter 2017 NIOSH and CAOHC class dates

See below for our course offerings for the third quarter of 2017 for Hearing Conservation and Pulmonary Function Technician Training:

CAOHC Occupational Hearing Conservation Certification

July 10-12, 2017 (Columbus, GA)

July 12-14, 2017 (Davenport, IA)

July 12-14, 2017 (Greensboro, NC)

July 17-19, 2017 (Madison, WI)

August 9-11, 2017 (Louisville, KY)

August 9-11, 2017 (New Orleans, LA)

August 16-18, 2017 (Greensboro, NC)

September 6-8, 2017 (Indianapolis, IN)

September 11-13, 2017 (Fayetteville, NC)

September 12-14, 2017 (Montgomery, AL)

September 20-22, 2017 (Fremont, CA)

September 27-29, 2017 (St. Louis, MO)

CAOHC Occupational Hearing Conservation Recertification

July 11, 2017 (Columbus, GA)

July 13, 2017 (Davenport, IA)

July 13, 2017 (Greensboro, NC)

July 18, 2017 (Madison, WI)

August 10, 2017 (Louisville, KY)

August 10, 2017 (New Orleans, LA)

August 17, 2017 (Greensboro, NC)

September 7, 2017 (Indianapolis, IN)

September 12, 2017 (Fayetteville, NC)

September 13, 2017 (Montgomery, AL)

September 21, 2017 (Fremont, CA)

September 28, 2017 (St. Louis, MO)

NIOSH Spirometry Initial Training
July 18-19, 2017 (Greensboro, NC)

September 12-13, 2017 (Greensboro, NC)

NIOSH Spirometry Refresher Training
July 20, 2017 (Greensboro, NC)

September 14, 2017 (Greensboro, NC)

Our full calendar schedule is here.