3M News Center

3M Hearing Protection Devices Now Added to the Federal Procurement List;

3M and New Dynamics help military personnel combat hearing loss, while creating job opportunities for people with disabilities

Thursday, August 30, 2012 9:22 am CDT


St. Paul, Minn.
"3M has 40 years of experience developing innovative hearing protection products"

Five hearing protection devices from 3M have been added to the U.S. AbilityOne Commission’s Federal Procurement List (FPL), effective Sept. 3, 2012, to help military personnel who are often exposed to excessive noise levels. 3M has a strong commitment to hearing conservation and will work with New Dynamics Corporation to protect warriors and workers from noise-induced hearing loss. As part of a co-branding agreement, New Dynamics Corporation will assemble, package and distribute the 3M devices through its government and commercial contracts, providing employment opportunities for more than 20 employees with and without disabilities.

“Military personnel are exposed to excessive noise levels during combat and training on a variety of land, air and sea missions,” said Walter Pawlowski, vice president of Business Development, New Dynamics Corporation. “This noise exposure has led many personnel to experience hearing loss and tinnitus, which is currently the number-one service-related disability for veterans.” 

Tinnitus, often referred to as “ringing in the ears,” and noise-induced hearing loss can be caused by a one-time exposure to hazardous impulse noise, or by repeated exposure to excessive noise over an extended period of time. 

The hearing protection devices being added to the federal procurement list include a series of 3M Combat Arms Earplugs and the 3M E-A-R Yellow Skull Screws earplugs. Combat Arms Earplugs provide hear-through capabilities, which enable military personnel to hear low-level sounds, such as footsteps or spoken commands, while protecting against damaging impulse noise from explosions or firearms. Yellow Skull Screws earplugs provide high-attenuation, easy insertion and compliance with Foreign Objects and Debris (FOD) requirements in proximity with military aircraft and flight lines. 

The Combat Arms Earplug is made of a washable plastic, has a triple-flange eartip to keep it in place, and features a rocker switch that is operated without removing the earplug. Military personnel can adjust the rocker with a quick “click” depending on the type of protection required for the mission. When it's in the open or “weapons fire” position, sound can travel through the sound channel filter into the ear. For noisy environments that don't require a hear-through listening capability, such as being near helicopters, troop carriers or generators, the rocker can be closed for “constant protection.”

The 3M products were added to the procurement list by the U.S. AbilityOne Commission, which was established as an independent Federal agency by the Javits-Wagner-O’Day Act. The Commission administers the AbilityOne Program, which currently provides employment opportunities for more than 50,000 people who are blind or have significant disabilities. The AbilityOne Program uses the purchasing power of the federal government to buy products and services from nonprofit agencies nationwide dedicated to training and employing individuals with disabilities.

New Dynamics Corporation works closely with NISH, a national nonprofit agency whose mission is to create employment opportunities for people with significant disabilities by securing federal contracts through the AbilityOne Program.

“People with disabilities are the nation’s largest untapped labor force and nearly 80 percent of these individuals do not have jobs,” said NISH President and CEO Bob Chamberlin. “It is our mission to help secure work for people with disabilities, and it is particularly fitting that we work with New Dynamics and 3M as their hearing protection products and services can help reduce the number of hearing-related disabilities within the military and other at-risk populations.”

Beginning Sept. 3, 2012, the products and services listed below are suitable for procurement by the Federal Government under 41 U.S.C. 8501-8506 and 41 CFR 51-2.4. National Stock Numbers (NSNs):

  • NSN: 6515-01-576-8837 – Combat Arms Earplug, Single Ended, Size Small
  • NSN: 6515-01-576-8861 – Combat Arms Earplug, Single Ended, Size Medium
  • NSN: 6515-01-576-8869 – Combat Arms Earplug, Single Ended, Size Large
  • NSN: 6515-01-466-2710 – Combat Arms Earplug, Dual Ended, Universal Size.
  • NSN: 6515-01-576-8796 – Yellow Skull Screws Earplug, Single Ended, Universal Size

“3M has 40 years of experience developing innovative hearing protection products,” said Doug Moses, Military Market Development, Occupational Health & Environmental Safety, 3M. “We look forward to applying our rich history with hearing protection products in support of New Dynamics and NISH to equip the U.S. Armed Forces with devices that allow them to hear mission critical communication, while helping reduce the risk of developing tinnitus and noise-induced hearing loss.” 

3M, Combat Arms, E-A-R, and Skull Screws are trademarks of 3M Company, used under license in Canada. AbilityOne is a registered trademark of the U.S. AbilityOne Commission.

About 3M
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 make 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 Protective Equipment (PPE) Safety Solutions
3M offers a comprehensive, diverse portfolio of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) solutions providing respiratory protection, hearing protection, fall protection, reflective materials for high visibility, 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 celebrates 40 years of safety leadership, recognizing the company’s respiratory and hearing protection solutions introduced in 1972. Visit www.3M.com/PPESafety or m.3M.com/PPESafety.

New Dynamics Corporation, based in Middletown, N.Y., provides employment opportunities for more than 70 disabled and non-disabled employees through its government and commercial contracts for products and services. Formed in 1997, New Dynamics is a not-for-profit sister corporation of Occupations Inc. that manufactures, packages and distributes products and services commercially and to the federal government through the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and the Defense Logistics Agency.

NISH is a national nonprofit agency whose mission is to create employment opportunities for people with significant disabilities by securing federal contracts through the AbilityOne Program for its network of community-based, nonprofit agencies. Providing employment opportunities to more than 50,000 people, the AbilityOne Program is the largest single source of employment for people with disabilities in the United States. More than 600 participating nonprofit organizations employ these individuals and provide quality goods and services to the federal government at a fair price.

For more information:

 Press Contacts:

Colleen Harris            

Heidi Wight
PR for 3M
Padilla Speer Beardsley

Patti Archiere                            
PR Director
New Dynamics
845-692-4454, Ext. 101

Paula Scanlon
Director of Marketing


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