Noise exposure is thought to be among the most common workplace exposure. However, in the United States and Canada, there are no standardized and comprehensive data available regarding occupational noise exposures. As a result, we have no method of knowing exactly how many US and Canadian workers are exposed to excessive noise.

To address this problem, Dr. Rick Neitzel and his team in the University of Michigan Department of Environmental Health Sciences are working to develop a US/Canada Job Exposure Matrix (JEM) for noise. Creation of a standardized JEM for the US and Canada would provide a valuable exposure assessment tool that will:

• Help occupational health professionals assess risks among their workers,
• Help researchers estimate workplace noise exposures on a national scale,
• Help researchers and industry understand trends in noise exposures over time,
• Help researchers analyze the relationship between noise and heart disease, stress, and annoyance,
• Help guide exposure and health surveillance efforts.

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