BACOU-DALLOZ hearing safety group partners with the Hearing Foundation of Canada to Launch ''Sound Sense'' program for grade schoolers

-- Program to teach hearing awareness to Grade 6 students in 3,000 Ontario schools

-- Bacou-Dalloz to provide support, including free noise thermometers and 150,000 earplugs

Smithfield, RI --The Bacou-Dalloz Hearing Safety Group has joined with The Hearing Foundation of Canada to help launch a hearing awareness program in over 3,000 Ontario grade schools. The bi-lingual program, entitled, "Sound Sense: Save Your Hearing for the Music," is an entertaining presentation that uses music to educate Grade 6 students about their amazing sense of hearing, and what they can do to protect it. The Bacou-Dalloz Hearing Safety Group is supporting the program by donating 150,000 pairs of Howard Leight® Matrix™ blue corded earplugs for distribution to the students, along with a quantity of new motivational/educational noise thermometers.

"Noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) is one of the fastest growing threats to children as well as adults," said Renee Bessette, Senior Marketing Communications Specialist for the Hearing Safety Group. "It crosses all borders and is occurring at increasingly younger ages. There is no cure: NIHL is permanent. The good news, though, is that it is almost entirely preventable."

"Research shows that the better children hear, the better they learn," said Heather Ferguson, CFRE, ABC, President of The Hearing Foundation of Canada. "Even mild hearing loss can affect academic, social and future career achievements. Studies also confirm the success of hearing conservation programs aimed at young people, yet the protection of one of our most valuable senses is not currently taught in the school curriculum."

The Hearing Foundation of Canada hopes to change that with the Sound Sense program, which features a comprehensive lesson plan of up to 60 minutes delivered by a trained facilitator or in-school staff. Highlights include a 10-minute video starring an animated character, Spike, and his live musician friends; a demonstration of what it might be like to suffer hearing loss; access to Soundsense.ca, a dynamic resource website for students, parents and educators; along with free Matrix earplugs and hearing conservation stickers.

Howard Leight's popular Matrix blue corded earplugs (NRR 23) are ideal for a wide range of applications at home and at work. Matrix earplugs' unique design generates a uniform attenuation profile that helps block harmful noise while allowing voice frequencies to be heard more naturally. Its user-friendly, no-roll design facilitates insertion into the ear canal for optimal fit and comfort.

The program's concept and development have been endorsed by six Ontario Elementary School Boards, as well as Dr. Andrew Smith of the World Health Organization, the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board, the Canadian Academy of Audiology, and the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association. Funding is provided by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, which considers this one of its high-impact programs. The program is scheduled to run in the 2005/06 and 2006/07 school years.

The Hearing Foundation of Canada is committed to eliminating the devastating effects of hearing loss on the quality of life of Canadians, by promoting prevention, early diagnosis, leading-edge medical research and successful intervention. For additional information on the Foundation or the Sound Sense Program, contact Richard Bowring at 866-432-7968, ext. 21, or visit www.hearingfoundation.ca

Since its beginnings as a one-man operation more than 30 years ago, Howard Leight Industries has grown into one of the largest manufacturers of in-ear hearing protection in the industrial market and is widely recognized as an innovator in protection and fit. Since 2001 Howard Leight has been a part of the Bacou-Dalloz™ Hearing Safety Group.

Combining the innovation and expertise of Howard Leight Earplugs and Bilsom Earmuffs, the Bacou-Dalloz Hearing Safety Group is a world leader in hearing safety.

Bacou-Dalloz is the world leader in the design, manufacture and sale of personal protective equipment, offering a comprehensive range of safety products designed to protect people from hazards in the workplace. The Group specializes in head protection equipment (eye and face, respiratory and hearing protection), body protection equipment (clothing, gloves and footwear) and fall protection equipment. With a worldwide presence and over 6,000 people, Bacou-Dalloz endeavors to contribute to ongoing improvements in workplace health and safety by providing innovative, comfort-engineered products that workers want to wear. The Group’s products are sold through a worldwide network of distributor partners for use in all sectors of activity (construction, manufacturing, telecommunications, homeland security, petrochemicals, medical, public services, etc.). Bacou-Dalloz is listed on the Premier Marché of the Euronext stock exchange in Paris, and is part of the SBF 120 index.

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