Push-In vs. Roll-Down Earplugs

Written on Thursday, March 19, 2009

Push-In vs. Roll-Down Earplugs

As you may know, disposable ear plugs are one way to achieve proper hearing protection in a work environment. The type of earplug you choose must be comfortable enough to wear for long periods, but most importantly, be inserted correctly into the ear.

Roll-Down Plugs

These type of disposable foam ear plugs require the user to roll the foam between their fingers to compress the foam to a sufficient size for proper insertion. If the user does not do this step properly (which is a common mistake), then the plug would not be inserted into the ear far enough to achieve the best possible protection level.

Another drawback to using roll-down plugs is their tendency to be unsanitary. Workers have to use their fingers to roll the plugs prior to inserting them into the ear. If the workers’ hands aren’t completely clean, then they run the chance of inserting dirt and germs from their hands into their ears.

Despite these possible disadvantages to using roll-down earplugs, many people still prefer to use them over other types of hearing protectors. Roll-downs also offer the highest amount of attenuation when inserted correctly.

Push-In Plugs

The push-in type of earplugs is considered by many to be easier to use than other types of plugs. The user simply grasps a plastic (or other rigid material) stem portion of the plug and “pushes in” the foam (or attenuating surface) end into the ear canal. No rolling is required, and therefore, proper insertion is easy to achieve.

Push-in plugs are also more sanitary than roll-downs because the user does not have to touch the part of the plug that goes into the ear. Dirt and germs from hands have far less of a chance making their way onto the foam attenuation portion of a push-in plug because the user never has to touch this part.

Although push-in plugs are easier to insert, they do not offer higher attenuation levels then a properly inserted roll-down plug.

Written by: Carissa Kelley

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