Slide 2 of 21
Nowadays the social exposure to free-time noise may be an important source of noise exposure. In Finland, common social noisy activities are exposure to loud music, leisure shooting or hunting, and the use of various power tools during hobby activities. Toppila et al. (1997) reported that exposure to loud music exceeded the occupational noise exposure among 5-20% of young (below 25 years) workers. It is estimated that 15 % of the labour force (blue and white collars) in Finland is annually exposed to gunfire during target shooting and hunting. Military service is mandatory in Finland, and annually during this service over 200 conscripts out of 30 000 will have a permanent threshold shifts (PTS) (Savolainen et al, 1996) due to a single shot. This occurs despite of the fact that in the Finnish army HPDs are mandatory in shooting exercises. Most incidences of acute PTS occur during field training during the shooting of blanks (Savolainen & al, 1996).