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ABLE earplugs could protect against bomb blasts

APL engineers invented the inexpensive plugs

September 15, 2013|By Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun

Ben Cruz, who works as a product development, management and marketing mentor with the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship, checked out the ABLE plugs at the event.

"I though it was really a novel approach to solving a problem," Cruz said. "These earplugs are great because you can leave them in pretty much all the time, and they only protect you from very loud noises when the very loud noises happen."

The next step for Simon and his colleagues is to attract funds from outside investors.

"We're in the proposal-writing stage," Simon said.

He's careful to point out that the ABLE plugs are not like traditional hearing protection, in that they can't prevent damage from other loud, but less intense, sounds, like jet engines. They're meant to protect hearing from the unique blast of an explosion.

"You have hundreds of thousands of guys out there who are susceptible to injury like this, and we owe it to them to prevent as many injuries as we possibly can," Simon said.

tricia.bishop@baltsun.com

twitter.com/triciabishop

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