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Materials BehindHigh-Tech Earplugs

Thu, 01/06/2005 - 9:30am

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It’s estimated that noise-induced hearing loss causes as much as one-third of all hearing loss in North America despite the use of noise protectors. Sonomax Hearing Healthcare Inc. is attacking noise-induced hearing loss with help from Bayer MaterialScience in Pittsburgh, PA. The Montreal-based company has developed the first mass-producible earplugs to meet the National Institute for Occupational Safety’s hearing protection criteria.

The reusable earplugs combine in-ear hearing protection and computer acoustic technologies. The custom-fitted devices are function-tested and quantified on the spot by interactive-based software. The system blocks out sound loud enough to cause hearing loss and still allows workers to hear speech and other important sounds.

The earplugs are injection molded from hypoallergenic silicone. The cord connecting the plugs is made from Texin 285 resin. The cord safety-release anchors and filter inserts are Texin 245.

More information is available by visiting www.BayerMaterialScienceNAFTA.com and www.sonomax.com.

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