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WISE EARS! Update

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute Inc., a trade association whose members include manufacturers of powered lawn and garden maintenance products, as well as industry-related services, joined WISE EARS!®in July 2002. OPEI and NIDCD recently collaborated on a safety message about noise-induced hearing loss, which will appears on the OPEI Web site, www.opei.org under the heading "Watch Safety TV."

Sertoma International (SERvice TO MAnkind), a 25,000-strong volunteer service organization whose focus is on communication disorders, as well as other areas pertaining to community service, joined WISE EARS!®in September 2002.

One of the most serious threats to hearing is hunting or target shooting. The firing of a shotgun at close range and without ear protection can permanently damage hearing in an instant. However, one April 2000 study of hunters and shooters in Wisconsin found that 38 percent of target shooters and 95 percent of hunters reported never wearing hearing protection over a year's time. For these reasons, WISE EARS!®has been focusing its attention on shooter safety by instructing hunters and shooters to avoid noise-induced hearing loss by wearing ear protection. WISE EARS!®participated in the 2002 Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA) conference, Charleston, W. Va., to encourage outdoor writers to cover the topic of noise-induced hearing loss, and produced a one-page flier on prevention of noise-induced hearing loss, which will appear in the 2003 Hunter Handbook, an annual publication that is distributed to hunting and shooting instructors for classroom use.

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