They seem to ignore the fact that there are men and women working in such an enviroment three days every two weeks.
They are not as exposed as one might think.
Everyone working around the cars have sound-blocking headphones on. The pit crew also have helmets over I presume custom molded ear plugs.
When the car is in the pits, they have exhaust mufflers they hook up. When they're not used, they're not around the car with it revved to the max; the idle SPL is not an issue. The guys on the pit wall have a wall of monitors in front of them, the container/box behind that, and their headphones on - you can hear how much bleed comes through their mics on the radio, they're not having to raise their voices.
The driver has custom molded plugs, and the helmet. I am sure it's scary loud when they pull up behind another car at max rpm, but again, they're not continuously doing that. The thing I would be concerned about would be the rear jack man and tire changers. The revving before the car is released is obviously for less than 2 seconds, but those guys are very close. In fact, with next years regs and both banks coming out one exhaust point blank in front of the rear jack man - I'm thinking it may not be as loud as 2013, but you've got a jet of 1000 degree C that will be point at the guy from less than a meter away...
It's a hazardous job, but so is working on aircraft jet engines, etc.. The thing people don't consider as well, is that there are a lot of things that seem more innocuous that can be worse. I know people that have been in the Navy that almost always have a trough in their hearing from being exposed to a constant drone at a certain frequency, albeit low level. Or people that do landscaping - ear muffs are great, but I would rather be exposed to a 1 second F1 throttle blip than 6-7 hours a day hearing a 100db non-stop leaf blower. Or chain saws, etc.
Ear buds are obvious, people have no idea of how loud they're running them in general, so I won't address that. But probably the worst thing is driving a car over 30mph with the windows down - people are blasting their window ear with a good constant 90db or so, and then they crank their stereo up (with requisite flat-line overly compressed mp3 pop music) to match it.
So no - it's not that big of a deal IMO in *modern* F1, provided the people working around the cars *are not bozos* about their hearing. You shouldn't be walking up to the car without ear plugs. The machismo around cars is almost exactly the same as witnessed in the music industry, *except at professional levels*: sub-par I.Q. people not comprehending the nature of their environment and showing how macho they are for not using hearing protection. I figure it's kind of like smoking: some people are just not going to be smart enough to comprehend the cumulative effect over time and it's consequences, and you can't really do anything about that until people get wiser overall. Common sense can only prevail when it is actually common. In the music business pretty much everyone has hearing damage - you can't be around a drummer for anytime at all really without having it, but for people that are doing it daily the "accidental" exposures to feedback are almost unavoidable and instantaneously destructive (I'm sure jon pollak has horror stories). At my advanced 46 year old age, I have musician friends that are more or less "deaf", you have to kind of yell at them, and it's funny - a lot of guys TALK REAL LOUD for some reason... <g>. But the same goes for people that have worked on boats, particularly air craft carrier deck crews, military around guns, hunters around guns, regular auto mechanics, people that work around HVAC systems...
Top Fuel racing is altogether a different thing, though. Those mechanics definitely are probably ruining their ears tuning the cars, but then they're also breathing nitric acid.....
But in all of the above, F1 is special because it's a sound that moves around, exhibits complexity at a distance, and conveys a sense of bridled power due to the effects of reverberation and tonal changes over a *distance*. That is a very complex, chaotic thing, and it's my belief humans are hyponotized by complexity coming close to or exceeding comprehension limits - it's why we stare at the ocean, fire, clouds. Loud sounds in the distance are enthralling, F1 should not give that up.
/ $.10 + a 0% loan from Janet Yellen