Well, we did it. After seven consecutive technology guides going back almost a year, we decided now was a good time to take a break from hearing aids. So in this issue containing our eighth matrix, instead of state-of-the-art products that can restore hearing, we’re showcasing state-of-the-art products that can preserve it: hearing protection devices — or HPDs.

Coincidentally, as we finished pulling together the variety of HPDs that you can find in our downloadable guide (PDF), HPD-related news came down that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed revising the 30-year-old rule still in effect. The EPA’s update would substantially modernize HPD testing requirements along with the methods of determining a product’s Noise Reduction Rating (NRR). It would also extend labeling to a wider range of electronic and level-dependent hearing protectors for which no rating system presently exists.

Had such pertinent information arrived sooner, I would have found a way to include opinions on the EPA’s plans from the range of companies that have participated in the survey. But instead I’ll solicit your thoughts on the matter. Read the news article here online: “EPA Proposes Update Of Hearing Protection Device Rules.” And let me know if the EPA’s proposal is long overdue, a complete waste of time, or somewhere in between.

Will Campbell
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