Introduction Noise-induced hearing loss is one of the most common health problems among military service personnel. Exposure to noise in military vehicles constitutes a large proportion of total noise exposure. This pilot study aimed to evaluate in-vehicle noise levels depending on the type of vehicle, riding compartment and road surface.
Method Noise levels were measured in armoured personnel carriers and heavy all-terrain trucks, in the cab and rear passenger compartment, while driving on paved or off-road surfaces. The results were compared with national LLV and allowed noise exposure times were calculated per vehicle and surface.
Results The equivalent noise levels in the cab of SISU XA-188 (p=0.001) and peak noise levels in MAN 4620 (p=0.0001) and DAF 4440 (p=0.0047) were higher on paved road, compared with off-road. The equivalent noise levels in the canvas covered rear compartment of MAN 4620 were significantly higher than in the cab on both paved (p=0.004) and off-road (p=0.0003). Peak noise levels in the cab of DAF 4440 exceeded the parameters measured in the canvas covered rear compartment on both paved (p=0.002) and off-road (p=0.0002). In most cases, peak noise levels were below the LLV (p=0.02–0.0001). The maximum noise exposure to passengers in the canvas covered rear compartment of MAN 4620 despite road surface was calculated 0.6 hours per working day.
Conclusion A high risk of noise-induced hearing loss among military personnel occurs during long distance transportation with vehicles showing noise levels higher than allowed LLV.
- military vehicles
- equivalent noise
- peak noise value
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Contributors HO and EM were responsible for the project coordination. SK, RJ and HO carried out measurements and data collection. AL, MR and EM performed the data analysis. AL drafted the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final version of the manuscript.
Funding The Estonian Ministry of Defence project 'Assessment and management of health risks among military personnel' financed this research.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent Not required.
Ethics approval Research Ethics Committee of the University of Tartu.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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