The past 22 years has seen the development of a number of damage risk countours for occupational noise exposure. Historical reliance has been made on the dBx subscript method for establishing specifications. This paper reviews the state-of-the-art for damage risk countours and finds serious inadequacies in such a practiced methodology. Since some 57 million wage earners are now covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), the need for a redefined damage risk contour is documented, particularly the need to verify complex pure tones as the basic industrial noise exposure for a number of contemporary industries.
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