ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--For an estimated 275 million people around the world, “What?” is an all
too common question. That’s because these individuals have disabling
hearing loss, many due to excessive noise both on and off the job1.
“Hearing loss is the number one sensory disability in the world – yet it
is also one of the most preventable,” said Laurie Wells, senior
acoustics specialist, 3M.
To help people avoid noise-induced hearing loss, 3M
has launched a social campaign called the “Hearing
Pledge,” which aims to educate people on how to detect and help
protect them from hazardous noise. By taking the pledge at www.hearingpledge.com,
people can commit to wearing hearing protection when exposed to noise in
excess of 85 decibels (dB). Prolonged exposure to sounds louder than 85
dB can damage your ears and lead to permanent hearing loss and other
symptoms. People can pledge and also share the information and the
pledge site with friends and family. Those who pledge can opt to enter
into a giveaway, with prizes such as an iPod touch® mobile digital
device and sound control earbuds.
Noise and other sounds that exceed 85 dB come from numerous activities,
like at work in a noisy assembly line or warehouse; or at home when
mowing the lawn, using power tools or listening to music; or when
watching fireworks or attending a football game. For many people,
constant exposure to excessive noise is part of the job description. A
few workplace environments where hazardous noise is common include
manufacturing, assembly, farming, military, oil and gas, transportation,
entertainment, mining and construction sites.
“Many workers choose to go without hearing protection because of
discomfort or inconvenience,” said Wells. “This can lead to permanent
hearing loss, as well tinnitus – constant ringing, buzzing or whistling
in the ear – and a myriad of other effects like sleep disturbance,
hypertension, anxiety and stress. That’s why raising awareness of the
hearing loss epidemic and preventative measures is so important.”
BASF, the world’s leading chemical company, agrees. Through a wellness
campaign called “Soundcheck 2012,” BASF is educating its employees on
the detrimental effects of excessive noise. As part of this initiative,
BASF enlisted 3M’s HearForce Hearing Conservation trainers to educate
2,640 employees about hearing loss at 37 BASF sites in the U.S.
“Hearing damage can affect our employees at work and at home so we’re
making sure they understand the risks, get the appropriate hearing
protection, and are committed to using it whenever life gets too loud,”
said Dr. Patrick Conner, BASF’s Vice President of Corporate Medical.
3M captures the spark of new ideas and transforms
them into thousands of ingenious products. Our culture of creative
collaboration inspires a never-ending stream of powerful technologies
that makes life better. 3M is the innovation company that never stops
inventing. With $30 billion in sales, 3M employs about 84,000 people
worldwide and has operations in more than 65 countries. For more
information, visit www.3M.com
or follow @3MNews on Twitter.
About 3M Personal Safety
3M offers a comprehensive, diverse
portfolio of Personal Safety solutions providing respiratory protection,
hearing protection, fall protection, reflective materials for high
visibility apparel, protective clothing, protective eyewear, head and
face protection, welding helmets, and other adjacent products and
solutions such as tactical safety equipment, detection, monitoring
equipment, active communications equipment and compliance management. In
2012, 3M celebrated 40 years of occupational health & safety leadership
– recognizing the company’s respiratory and hearing protection solutions
introduced in 1972. Visit www.3M.com/PPESafety.
About BASF – The Chemical Company
headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American
affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has more than 16,000
employees in North America, and had sales of $20 billion in 2011. For
more information about BASF’s North American operations, visit www.basf.us.
BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its
portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop
protection products to oil and gas. We combine economic success, social
responsibility and environmental protection. Through science and
innovation we enable our customers in almost all industries to meet the
current and future needs of society. Our products and system solutions
contribute to conserving resources, ensuring healthy food and nutrition
and helping to improve the quality of life. We have summed up this
contribution in our corporate purpose: We create chemistry for a
sustainable future. BASF posted sales of about €73.5 billion in 2011 and
had more than 111,000 employees as of the end of the year. Further
information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com.
For more information:
3M is a trademark of 3M Company, used under license in Canada. iPod
touch is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc. BASF is a trademark of
1 World Health Organization. (2012, March 3). Media
center. International Day for Ear and Hearing. Retrieved March 22, 2012,