85-3 Campaign


Occupational hearing loss has become a “silent epidemic” in the United States. It is a major problem that deserves far more attention. We believe that by publicly acknowledging the large number of companies who make extra efforts to truly protect worker hearing we can encourage others to follow their lead. Our mission is to recognize organizations and employers that have adopted 85 dBA for an 8-hour noise exposure limit measured with a 3-dB exchange rate for their hearing loss prevention programs, and to encourage others to adopt this same hearing protective strategy.

A coordinated effort is being undertaken to enlist as many companies and organizations as possible to sign-on. The campaign was launched in conjunction with the National Hearing Conservation Association 37th Annual Conference held on February 24, 2012.

Click here for more information on joining the campaign and becoming an 85-3 Pioneer.


  1. as someone who is graduating the EHS program at IUP soon, I pledge to implement the TLV of 85dBA with an exchange rate of 3dBA in companies that I work in the future. This offers much more protection to workers than the traditional PELs adopted by OSHA. Also I will adopt engineered controls before PPE on all occasions where it is feasible.

    1. Cory,

      As you continue to provide explanatory leadership in this area, bringing the best to your client companies, also, please, continue to work for noise-control implementations that reduce the workplace noise burden to less than 80 dBA (Leq,8).

      As with social workers who want to save the world and put themselves out of clients to service as a result, we really should have as our end goal the elimination for need to provide an occupational hearing loss prevention program as we know it because we will have removed all of the hearing hazards.

      What I have recommended to my clients over the years – and tried to encourage all while I was at NIOSH – was to have hazard elimination as the long-term objective but to keep in place the surveillance/audiometry/education parts of the the HLPP even after the hazards have been eliminated. The goal is to remove the hazard,, not the HLPP. Today, I am observing companies that have as a long-term goal elimination the HLPP, and I am not comfortable with that. That said, the Safe-in-Sound award for one company this year will based on elimination of the hazards and thus the HLPP.

      OK, enough preaching

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