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Diseases of the ear and hearing damage - 547 entries found

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CIS 07-373 Lawton B.W., Hoffmann J., Triebig G.
The ototoxicity of styrene: A review of occupational investigations
Seven occupational studies dealing with the ototoxicity of styrene were analysed. Factors assessed included the experimental design, measurement of the styrene-in-air concentration, confirmation of styrene exposure by blood or urine analysis, determination of hearing threshold levels and measurement of noise at the workplace. Findings are equivocal. Four investigations failed to find any effect of styrene on hearing thresholds. In contrast, other investigations claimed to have demonstrated styrene-induced hearing loss in industrial populations, with synergism between styrene and noise. However, these reports exhibited shortcomings of experimental design and data analysis. Considering the body of evidence as a whole, hearing deficits due to occupational exposure to styrene at low concentrations have not been demonstrated by scientifically reliable argument.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Feb. 2006, Vol.79, No.2, p.93-102. Illus. 23 ref.

CIS 07-116 Schwartz G.
Classical musicians - Fine tuning of occupational safety and health
Musiciens classiques - Bien orchestrer la prévention [in French]
Classical musicians, and particularly those playing in an orchestra, often suffer from diseases related to their occupation. The main risks are of musculoskeletal diseases due to prolonged awkward postures or repetitive movements and hearing loss due to prolonged exposure to noise. Stress can be an aggravating factor. This article discusses the occupational hazards faced by classical musicians and their means of prevention. Forthcoming legislation based on the Noise Directive will require employers to carry out an exposure evaluation and provide personal protective equipment. The legislation will be applicable in 2006 in most sectors, and will also apply to the music and entertainment sectors after a two-year transition period.
Travail et sécurité, June 2006, No.663, p.3-9. Illus. 7 ref.$File/TS663page2.pdf?OpenElement [in French]


CIS 08-1439 Hearing loss due to injury-causing noise
Surdité provoquée par les bruits lésionnels [in French]
This document comments a study that presents the chronology of changes made to the tables on occupational noise-related hearing loss in France, together with changes in regulations having had an incidence on spending trends, particularly since 1991. The study also highlights the characteristics of the disease which can influence the degree of compensation.
Caisse Nationale de l'Assurance Maladie des Travailleurs Salariés (CNAMTS), 26-50 av. du professeur André Lemierre, 75986 Paris cedex 20, France, 2005. Internet document (HTML format). 1 ref. [in French]

CIS 07-1458 Pereira Santos M., Sebben V.C., Farenzena P.R., Dexheimer C.F., Pereira Santos C., Steffen V.M.
Exposure to chemical agents and noise in the leather industry
Exposição a agentes químicos e ruído em indústria de couro [in Portuguese]
This study investigated the relationship between hearing loss and the occupational exposition to noise and toluene. Seventy-three tannery workers were divided into three groups: exposed to noise, exposed to noise and chemicals and unexposed. Data on the workers' clinical and occupational histories were obtained by means of questionnaires. Exposure to toluene was evaluated by environmental and biological monitoring. Noise level and audiometric tests were also conducted. Data were subjected to statistical evaluation. Findings are discussed. The hearing losses found in the noise group and noise and chemical agents group were significant when compared to the control group.
Revista brasileira de saúde ocupacional, 2005, Vol.30, No.111, p.51-56. 17 ref.

CIS 07-651 Ferrite S., Santana V.
Joint effects of smoking, noise exposure and age on hearing loss
This cross-sectional study was carried out to examine whether smoking, noise and age jointly affect hearing acuity. It involved 535 male workers of a metal processing factory. Pure-tone audiometric tests were used to assess hearing loss. and noise exposure assessment was based on a job-exposure matrix. Data on socio-demographic, life-style, occupational and health-related factors were collected by questionnaire. Results indicated that age and occupational noise exposures were separately and positively associated with hearing loss. For all the factors combined, the estimated effect on hearing loss was higher than the sum of the effects from each isolated variable. It is concluded that the synergistic effect of smoking, noise exposure and age on hearing loss is consistent with the biological interaction.
Occupational Medicine, Jan. 2005, Vol.55, No.1, p.48-53. 32 ref.

CIS 07-569 Rabinowitz P.M., Sircar K.D., Tarabar S., Galusha D., Slade M.D.
Hearing loss in migrant agricultural workers
This cross-sectional survey of 150 migrant agricultural workers was conducted to assess the prevalence and impact of hearing loss in this population, using a bilingual questionnaire. Pure tone audiometry and tympanometry were performed in a mobile testing van. More than half the subjects had some degree of hearing loss, especially in the higher frequencies. Hispanic males in the sample had significantly greater prevalence of high-frequency hearing loss compared to those in the national Hispanic Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (HHANES). More than 35% of respondents complained of subjective difficulty hearing or understanding speech. Even after adjusting for measured hearing loss, Hispanic farm workers were more likely than their English-speaking counterparts to complain of difficulty hearing or understanding speech, suggesting that language barriers could worsen the impact of hearing loss. Risk factors for hearing loss included age, abnormal tympanometry, and exposures to noise and pesticides. The use of hearing protection was rare.
Journal of Agromedicine, 2005, Vol.10, No.4, p.9-17. Illus. 20 ref.

CIS 07-441 Useful tips - Hearing, a vulnerable organ
Astuces pour des actions - L'ouïe, un organe vulnérable [in French]
This information sheet is aimed at employers wishing to implement a hearing protection campaign. It covers the following aspects: advantages of a hearing protection campaign; Belgian legal requirements concerning a hearing protection; guidance on the contents of a campaign and on the dissemination of information on hearing protection to the employees.
PREVENT, rue Gachard 88, Bte 4, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium, 2005. 2p.

CIS 06-948 Choi S.W., Peek-Asa C., Sprince N.L., Rautiainen R.H., Donham K.J., Flamme G.A., Whitten P.S., Zwerling C.
Hearing loss as a risk factor for agricultural injuries
To assess whether hearing impairment might increase the risk of agricultural injuries, 150 farmers participating in the Iowa Certified Safe Farm Study were studied between 1998 and 2002. Injury information was collected by telephone interviews. Hearing levels were measured annually using pure tone audiometry. Adjusted risk ratios of injuries were calculated using the multivariate Poisson regression model. Hearing loss in the better ear (RR=1.62), hearing asymmetry (RR=1.67) and poor self-reported hearing (RR=1.96) were significantly associated with the risk of occupational injuries. Exposure to noise increased the risk of injuries in those farmers with hearing loss or hearing asymmetry. Furthermore, the occasional use of hearing protection was significantly associated with occupational injuries.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Oct. 2005, Vol.48, No.4, p.293-301. Illus. 51 ref.

CIS 06-942 Kumar A., Mathur N.N., Varghese M., Mohan D., Singh J.K., Mahajan P.
Effect of tractor driving on hearing loss in farmers in India
Indian tractors do not have adequate vibration and noise attenuating design features. In this cross-sectional study, 50 tractor-driving farmers and 50 non-driving farmers matched for age, sex, ethnic group, land holding, education levels and work routines were selected from two villages. Participants were interviewed for details of work routine and noise exposures, and were subjected to audiograms. Noise measurements were taken on tractors and other agricultural machines. Self-reported hearing problems were similar (four cases each) in both groups. However, audiogram analysis showed higher prevalence of high-frequency hearing loss in cases (24) when compared to controls (14). The noise levels observed on tractors in various operations were in the range of 90-110 dB(A).
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Apr. 2005, Vol.47, No.4, p.341-348. Illus. 21 ref.

CIS 06-947 Perry M.J., May J.J.
Noise and chemical induced hearing loss: Special considerations for farm youth
Farm youth face multiple risks for injury and illness in agriculture. This literature survey reviews evidence illustrating the noise and chemical exposure hearing risks that farm youth potentially face. Sources of noise and potentially toxic chemical exposures common in the farm environment are discussed. These exposures involve up to two million children in the USA and require both public and occupational health solutions. Since existing studies have not sufficiently explored potential ototoxic effects of these exposures on children and adolescents, recommendations are outlined for research characterizing both chemical and noise exposures to farm youth and their combined effects on hearing.
Journal of Agromedicine, 2005, Vol.10, No.2, p.49-55. 34 ref.

CIS 06-940 Ward T.
Sound advice
The new Control of Noise at Work Regulations will come into force in the United Kingdom in April 2006, replacing the current Noise at Work Regulations 1989 (see CIS 90-21). They will require employers to implement modern hazard evaluation methods and risk prevention. This article proposes a practical framework for ensuring compliance with the regulations at the enterprise level. It involves carrying out a risk assessment, reducing exposure to noise, providing workers with hearing protection, ensuring exposure limits are not exceeded, informing and training workers, and finally carrying out health surveillance.
Safety and Health Practitioner, Oct. 2005, Vol.23, No.10, p.50-52. Illus. 2 ref.

CIS 06-938 Sánchez Galan L., Rodríguez Ortiz de Salazar B.
Medical and legal revision, and current situation with respect to the evaluation of occupational hearing loss in the Spanish social security system
Revisión médico-legal y estado actual de la evaluación medica de la hipoacusia profesional en el sistema español de la seguridad social [in Spanish]
This article reviews the current situation with respect to the evaluation of hearing loss in the Spanish social security system and describes a study of a representative sample of cases of permanent incapacity where the main clinical diagnosis was occupational hearing loss. It is concluded that methods for evaluating hearing loss should be standardized so as to enable the equitable application of the legal criteria that govern the right to compensation. Results also indicate that the number of workers with work-related hearing loss is higher than that evaluated and compensated by the social security system.
Medicina y seguridad del trabajo, Mar. 2005, Vol.LI, No.198, p.7-20. Illus. 44 ref.

CIS 06-937 Wright Reid A.
Notes of caution
The new Noise at Work Regulations 2005 due to be implemented in April 2006 in the United Kingdom apply to most industries, but the music industry has been given a further two years to comply. This article explains why the extra time is needed and discusses ways in which hearing damage among musicians can be prevented.
Safety and Health Practitioner, Sep. 2005, Vol.23, No.9, p.51-54. Illus. 3 ref.

CIS 06-879 Kim J., Park H., Ha E., Jung T., Paik N., Yang S.
Combined effects of noise and mixed solvents exposure on the hearing function among workers in the aviation industry
This study investigated the effect of occupational exposure to noise and organic solvents on hearing loss among aircraft maintenance workers. The study population comprised 542 male workers for whom exposure and medical examination data were available. The prevalence of hearing loss found in the group exposed to noise and mixed solvents simultaneously (54.9%) was higher than those in the other groups (6.0% in the unexposed, 17.1% in the noise-only exposed, and 27.8% in the solvents-only exposed). The relative risks, adjusted for age, were estimated to be 4.3 for the noise-only group, 8.1 for the noise and solvents group, and 2.6 for the solvents-only group. These findings suggest that chronic exposure to mixed solvents had a toxic effect on the auditory system. This raises the issue of whether hearing conservation regulations should be applied to all workers exposed to solvents.
Industrial Health, July 2005, Vol.43, No.3, p.567-573. 25 ref. [in English]

CIS 06-698 Reducing the risks from occupational noise
This report provides an overview of noise control methods based on European noise control policy as formulated in the relevant directives and international standards. Contents: scope of the noise problem; effects of noise (hearing disorders, work-related stress, cause of accidents); European occupational noise policy; management of noise (noise reduction, personal protection); examples of workplace interventions. Includes lists of relevant European directives and standards.
European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, Gran Vía 33, 48009 Bilbao, Spain, 2005. 85p. Illus. 46 ref. Index. Price: EUR 15.00. [in English]

CIS 06-692 Hagberg M., Thiringer G., Brandström L.
Incidence of tinnitus, impaired hearing and musculoskeletal disorders among students enroled in academic music education - A retrospective cohort study
This study examined the incidence of tinnitus, impaired hearing and musculoskeletal disorders among musicians and investigated the relationship with the number of practising hours and instrument type. Subjects consisted of music students enrolled between the years 1980 and 1995 in the music school of a Swedish university. A questionnaire on exposure and symptoms was answered by 407 of the 602 eligible students. The highest incidence of symptoms was found for reported tinnitus. There was also a relationship between the number of hours of instrumental practice and incidence of impaired hearing. Among the musculoskeletal symptoms, the highest incidences were pain in the neck and in the left shoulder. Incidences of symptoms of the left and right hand, elbow, forearm and shoulder are discussed as a function of the number of hours of weekly practice and instrument played.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Aug. 2005, Vol.78, No.7, p.575-583. Illus. 17 ref.

CIS 06-691 Hong O.S.
Hearing loss among operating engineers in American construction industry
This study examined the prevalence and characteristics of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) among engineers operating heavy construction machinery. Demographic and occupational data were collected by means of a self-administered questionnaire and the 623 participants underwent audiometric tests and otoscopic examinations. Over 60% showed hearing loss in the noise-sensitive higher frequencies of 4 and 6kHz. The degree of hearing loss was particularly high among workers who reported long years of working in the construction industry. Average reported use of hearing protection devices (HPDs) was 48% of the time they were required to be used. A significant inverse relationship was found between 4-6kHz hearing loss and use of HPDs.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Aug. 2005, Vol.78, No.7, p.565-574. Illus. 53 ref.

CIS 06-690 Seixas N.S., Goldman B., Sheppard L., Neitzel R., Norton S., Kujawa S.G.
Prospective noise induced changes to hearing among construction industry apprentices
Hearing and noise exposure were monitored among a cohort of newly-enrolled construction industry apprentices and a comparison group of students, using standard pure tone audiometry and distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs). A total of 328 subjects were monitored annually an average of 3.4 times. In parallel to these measures, noise exposure and use of hearing protection devices were monitored during construction work tasks. Non-occupational exposures were also investigated and monitored in subgroups of subjects. Results indicate that construction apprentices in their first three years of work, with average noise exposures under 90dBA, have measurable losses of hearing function. Despite the practical problems of implementing DPOAEs for hearing surveillance on construction sites, they appear somewhat more sensitive to the early-stage detection of hearing loss than standard pure tone audiometry.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, May 2005, Vol.62, No.5, p.309-317. Illus. 30 ref.

CIS 06-350 Kaufman L.R., LeMasters G.K., Olsen D.M., Succop P.
Effects of concurrent noise and jet fuel exposure on hearing loss
This study examined the effects of occupational exposure to jet fuel on hearing among ground workers at a U.S air force base. Noise-exposed subjects, with or without jet fuel exposure, underwent hearing tests. Data on work histories, recreational exposures, protective equipment, medical histories, alcohol, smoking, and demographics were collected by questionnaire. Jet fuel, solvent and noise exposure data were collected from occupational hygiene records. Fuel concentrations were less than 34% of the OSHA threshold limit values. Subjects with three years of jet fuel exposure had a 70% increase in adjusted odds of hearing loss (OR=1.7) and the odds increased to 2.41 for 12 years of noise and fuel exposure. These findings suggest that jet fuel has a toxic effect on the auditory system.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Mar. 2005, Vol.47, No.3, p.212-218. 42 ref.

CIS 06-413 Nomura K., Nakao M., Yano E.
Hearing loss associated with smoking and occupational noise exposure in a Japanese metal working company
A cross-sectional study of the effects of smoking on hearing loss was conducted among 397 Japanese male workers at a metal factory during their periodical health checkup. Hearing acuity was measured at 4kHz using a pure-tone audiometer in a quiet room. Among the total subjects, 55 (13.9%) were identified as having hearing loss at 4kHz, and 151 (38.0%) were currently exposed to occupational noise. When adjusted for age and occupational noise exposure, odds ratios of hearing loss were 3.16 for past smokers and 3.39 for heavy smokers compared with never-smokers. The association between smoking and hearing loss seems to be masked by atherosclerotic factors. Results suggest that the concurrent impact of smoking and occupational noise exposure on hearing loss require further attention.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Apr. 2005, Vol.78, No.3, p.178-184. 30 ref.

CIS 06-412 Kardous C.A., Franks J.R., Davis R.R.
NIOSH/NHCA best practices workshop on impulsive noise
In May 2003, a workshop on impulsive noise and its effects on hearing brought together leading international experts from labour, industry, and government. The following key needs were identified: instruments and standards for measurement and evaluation of impulsive sounds; international consensus on descriptors for impulsive sounds and procedures for applying results from tests on animals to models for the effect of impulsive sounds on hearing impairment of humans; international consensus on procedures to evaluate the effectiveness of hearing-protection devices and of engineering noise-controls to reduce hearing impairment caused by impulsive sounds; understanding of hearing impairment resulting from occupational and non-occupational exposure to impulsive sounds; international consensus agreement on a damage-risk criterion for impulsive sounds.
Noise Control Engineering Journal, Mar.-Apr. 2005, Vol.53, No.2, p.53-60. 32 ref.

CIS 06-308 Klokker M., Vesterhauge S.
Perilymphatic fistula in cabin attendants: An incapacitating consequence of flying with common cold
A perilymphatic fistula (PLF) is an abnormal communication between the inner ear and the middle ear that leaks perilymph. It has also been described in connection with various activities including flying. The symptoms are uncharacteristic vertigo and, in some cases, hearing impairment and tinnitus. This study describes four cases of PLF during a period of six months in a major Scandinavian airline employing approximately 3000 cabin attendants (CAs). None of the cases was diagnosed at the primary health care level. All were referred to the aviation medical centre for investigation. The PLF diagnosis was based on the case history, platform pressure test (a fistula test), and other vestibular tests. Only one CA has been able to return to flying duties. The article emphasizes the risk of flying with poor middle ear equalization and the necessity of reminding airline crews never to fly with a common cold.
Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, Jan. 2005, Vol.76, No.1, p.66-68. 18 ref.

CIS 06-409 Brett Y.
Control of noise at the workplace, a European priority
Lutte contre le bruit au travail, une priorité européenne [in French]
It is estimated that 7% of all European workers suffer from severe hearing disorders caused by occupational exposure to noise. In the European Union, minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to noise are set out in Commission Directive 2003/10/EC (see CIS 06-253), to be transposed into national legislation by February 2006. Contents of this article on the control of noise at the workplace: definition of noise; effects of noise (hearing loss, tinnitus, dual effects of noise and the exposure to ototoxic substances such as solvents); noise control; personal protective equipment.
Face au risque, Sep. 2005, No.415, p.23-25. Illus.

CIS 05-319 Hoet P., Grosjean M., Somaruga C.
Factors potentially affecting the hearing of petroleum industry workers
This report outlines the physiology of hearing and the mechanisms and types of hearing loss and summarizes factors affecting hearing: age, noise exposure, diseases and chemical exposure. It focuses on the potential ototoxic effects of organic solvents and reviews results of studies of hearing loss among exposed workers in the petroleum, petrochemical and other industries. Also examines the possible synergistic effects of noise and chemical exposure on hearing loss.
CONCAWE, Boulevard du Souverain 165, 1160 Bruxelles, Belgium, June 2005. vi, 66p. 144 ref. [in English]


CIS 05-201 Campo P.
Noise and ototoxic agents
Bruit et agents ototoxiques [in French]
While exposure to noise remains the most important risk factor for hearing loss, the potential of certain chemical agents to increase the traumatic effects of occupational noise is rarely reported in the literature and is not taken into consideration by legislation. This literature review examined the results obtained from studies of laboratory animals and from epidemiological findings and clinical observations. Hearing loss risk was evaluated firstly after exposures to identified ototoxic agents such as aminoglycosides, diuretics, aspirin, antineoplastic drugs and aromatic solvents, and secondly after co-exposure with noise, whenever such data were available. The review highlights the lack of specific legislation for persons exposed to both noise and chemical agents. Recent experimental data reported in this review should be taken into consideration by regulators in order to reduce the risks to hearing encountered by workers exposed to multiple pollutants.
Archives des maladies professionnelles et de médecine du travail, Oct. 2004, Vol.65, No.6, p.503-512. Illus. 80 ref.

CIS 05-200 Kock S., Andersen T., Kolstad H.A., Kofoed-Nielsen B., Wiesler F., Bonde J.P.
Surveillance of noise exposure in the Danish workplace: A baseline survey
Noise exposure was measured among 830 workers employed at 91 enterprises selected in each of the ten industries considered to be at high risk of noise exposure in Denmark. The A-weighted equivalent sound level (LAeq) for a full shift was measured by portable dosimeters. A control group of office workers and a sample of residents was investigated according to the same protocol. The LAeq values in the selected industries were highly elevated (mean 83.7dB(A) in comparison with those of the control group (mean 69.9dB(A))). Approximately 50% of the workers were exposed to levels higher than the current threshold limit of 85dB(A), and 20% to more than 90dB(A). Ongoing surveillance of noise exposure using full shift dosimetry of workers in random samples of workplaces most at risk to high noise levels may help reinforce preventive measures.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Oct. 2004, Vol.61, No.10, p.838-843. Illus. 25 ref.

CIS 05-199 Salazar A.M.
Comparison of otoacoustic emissions among workers exposed and not exposed to noise
Comparación de emisiones otoacústicas en individuos expuestos y no expuestos al ruido ocupacional [in Spanish]
In this study, the average amplitude of distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAE) were compared in 36 volunteers aged between 20 and 30 years, occupationally exposed to noise for at least a year but wearing hearing protectors all day, and 36 unexposed controls of similar age. Results of audiometric tests were normal in both groups. The duration of exposure had little influence on the DPOAE amplitudes. This article underscores the importance of wearing hearing protectors during exposure to noise for avoiding hearing loss.
Salud, Trabajo y Ambiente, 2nd Quarter 2004, Vol.11, No.40, p.7-11. Illus.

CIS 05-198 Werner A.F.
Noise-induced tinnitus, an occupational and legal medical issue
Los acúfenos inducidos por ruidos, un problema laboral y médico legal [in Spanish]
Noise-induced tinnitus is the term used to describe the hearing of sounds that don't exist physically but that are perceived as real by the patient. In particular, it may be caused by chronic and acute exposure to noise. Although not considered a recognised occupational disease, it may nonetheless be incapacitating. Contents of this review article on tinnitus: description, aetiology; prevalence; pathologies that can cause tinnitus; diagnosis; detecting cases of tinnitus malingering; clinical character of noise-induced tinnitus; medical treatment, permanent disability due to tinnitus (legal basis, scales applied in Argentina and Europe).
Salud Ocupacional, Jan.-Mar. 2004, Vol.XXII, No.88, p.23-31. Illus. 22 ref.

CIS 05-197 García Callejo F.J., García Callejo F., Velert Vila M.M., de Paula Vernetta C., Morant Ventura A., Marco Algarra J.
Hypoacusia induced by workplace noise among insulin-dependant diabetics
Hipoacusia inducida por ruido laboral en diabéticos insulinodependientes [in Spanish]
Diabetes mellitus alters the rheological properties of blood and is related to a risk of neurosensory hypoacusia. This study was carried out to examine whether noise levels in occupational settings had a more pronounced effect on hearing loss among insulin-dependant diabetic workers and whether there was a correlation between the magnitude of the hearing loss and blood viscosity. The study involved 19 diabetic workers for whom results of audiometric tests conducted five years earlier were available, together with a control group 19 healthy workers exposed to similar noise levels. Results show a statistically-significant increase in binaural hearing loss among diabetic subjects, together with an increase in blood viscosity. A significant correlation between the magnitude of hypoacusia and blood viscosity values at high sheer velocities was also highlighted. It appears that diabetics show an increased predisposition to noise-induced hypoacusia, which may be related to the hyperviscosity syndrome associated with this metabolic disorder.
Medicina y seguridad del trabajo, June 2004, Vol.L, No.195, p.15-23. Illus. 23 ref.

CIS 04-600 Management of noise in construction
Boj proti hluku ve stavebnictví [in Czech]
Hantering av buller vid byggnadsarbete [in Swedish]
Lärmmanagement im Bausektor [in German]
Meíōsē (éleghos) tou thorúbou ston kládo tōn kataskeuṓn [in Greek]
La gestión del ruido en el sector de la construcción [in Spanish]
Müra vähendamine ehitustöödel [in Estonian]
Melun hallinta rakennustoiminnassa [in Finnish]
La gestion du bruit dans la construction [in French]
Zajszabályozás az építőiparban [in Hungarian]
Gestione del rumore nell'edilizia [in Italian]
Triukšmo statyboje reguliavimas [in Lithuanian]
Trokšņa ierobežošana būvniecībā [in Latvian]
L-immaniġġjar ta'l-istorbju fil-kostruzzjoni [in Maltese]
Lawaai in de bouwsector [in Dutch]
Kontrola hałasu w budownictwie [in Polish]
Gestão do ruído no sector da construção [in Portuguese]
Riadenie hluku pri stavebnej činnosti [in Slovak]
Obvladovanje hrupa v gradbeništvu [in Slovenian]
Håndtering af støj i bygge- og anlægssektoren [in Danish]
Exposure to loud noise at work can cause irreversible hearing damage, workplace accidents and be a contributing factor to other health problems. This fact sheet provides an introduction to the management of noise in construction both before and during work on a site. Contents: noise in construction; managing noise before and during work on the site; assessment; collective control measures; personal hearing protection; training; health surveillance and monitoring.
European Agency for Safety and Health at Work,, 2004. 2p. Illus. 5 ref. [in English] [in Czech] [in Danish] [in German] [in Estonian] [in Greek] [in Italian] [in Latvian] [in Hungarian] [in Lithuanian] [in Maltese] [in Dutch] [in Polish] [in Portuguese] [in Slovak] [in Slovenian] [in Finnish] [in Swedish] [in French] [in Spanish]

CIS 04-434 Pawlaczyk-Łuszczyńska M., Dudarewicz A., Bąk M., Fiszer M., Kotyło P., Śliwińska-Kowalska M.
Temporary changes in hearing after exposure to shooting noise
The objectives of this study were to evaluate exposure to noise from small-calibre weapons, to compare the post-exposure changes in hearing measured by pure-tone audiometry (PTA) and transient-evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAE) and to correlate these changes with noise parameters. The study included 18 hunters (group I) and 28 candidate policemen (group II) exposed to noise from small firearms during target practices. Group I was unprotected during shooting, whereas group II used commonly-available hearing protectors. PTA and TEOAE were performed before and 2-10 min after shooting. Noise exposure was evaluated by in situ measurements. Results show that even short-term exposure to noise from small-calibre firearms might cause temporary hearing impairment. Therefore, the use of earmuffs is strongly recommended, because most of them seem to effectively attenuate noise from small-calibre firearms.
International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, 2nd quarter 2004, Vol.17, No.2, p.285-294. Illus. 25 ref.

CIS 04-319 McCall B.P., Horwitz I.B.
An assessment of the effects of increased regulatory enforcement and legislative reform on occupational hearing loss workers' compensation claims: Oregon 1984-1998
The objective of this study was to measure the outcomes of increased enforcement of regulations and legislative interventions on hearing loss compensation claims. Workers' compensation claim data from the U.S. State of Oregon were analysed for the period of 1984-1998 to examine trends and severity of hearing loss claims. In 1987 and 1990, Oregon enacted legislative reforms to improve occupational safety and health standards in the state. This study compared hearing loss claims between the periods of pre- and post-legislative reforms. It was found that hearing loss claims decreased significantly following the legislative reforms, although the average cost per claim increased. Nevertheless, hearing loss remains problematic, and continued efforts are required to further reduce this hazard.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, May 2004, Vol.45, No.5, p.417-427. Illus. 39 ref.

CIS 04-437 Landen D., Wilkins S., Stephenson M., McWilliams L.
Noise exposure and hearing loss among sand and gravel miners
The objectives of this study were to describe workplace noise exposures, risk factors for hearing loss and hearing levels among sand and gravel miners, and to determine whether full shift noise exposures resulted in changes in hearing thresholds from baseline values. A total of 317 sand and gravel miners were interviewed regarding medical history, leisure-time and occupational noise exposure, other occupational exposures and use of hearing protection. Audiometric tests were performed before the work shift and immediately after the work shift. Full shift noise dosimetry was conducted. It was found that overall, sand and gravel workers have excessive noise exposures and significant hearing loss, and demonstrate inadequate use of hearing protection. Well-designed hearing conservation programs, with reduction of noise exposure, are clearly needed.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Aug. 2004, Vol.1, No.8, p.532-541. Illus. 17 ref.

CIS 03-1382 Noise
Le bruit [in French]
Prolonged exposure to noise can result in hearing losses that appear only progressively but that are permanent, which is why prevention is important. Contents of this information leaflet on the prevention of noise at the workplace: legal aspects (current Belgian regulations on the exposure of workers to noise and new European Directive 2003/10/EC); effect of noise on work efficiency (arousal, effects of music during work, excessive error levels and stress, diminished concentration); environment, lifestyle and noise levels; hearing protection (noise reduction at source, soundproofing, hearing protection, hearing protector selection criteria).
PREVENT, rue Gachard 88, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium, 2004. 4p. Illus. 4 ref.


CIS 06-173 McBride D.I., Firth H.M., Herbison G.P.
Noise exposure and hearing loss in agriculture: A survey of farmers and farm workers in the Southland region of New Zealand
This study involved a questionnaire survey and audiometric testing of 586 farmers and farm workers and noise level measurements on 60 farms. Noise levels ranged from 84.8 to 86.8 dB(A) and hearing losses were consistent with this level of exposure. Age, driving tractors without cabs and working with metal were important risk factors. Reported compliance with hearing protection was higher than that actually observed. While the majority of farmers had a moderate risk of hearing loss, a significant minority were at high risk. Elimination and isolation of noise sources are the control methods of choice.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Dec. 2003, Vol.45, No.12, p.1281-1288. Illus. 16 ref.

CIS 06-96 Śliwińska-Kowalska M., Zamyslowska-Szmytke E., Szymczak W., Kotylo P., Fiszer M., Wesolowski W., Pawlaczyk-Luszczynska M.
Ototoxic effects of occupational exposure to styrene and co-exposure to styrene and noise
The effects on hearing of occupational exposure to styrene and of combined exposures to styrene and noise were evaluated in 290 yacht yard and plastics factory workers and in a control group of unexposed and noise-exposed workers. Subjects were assessed by means of a detailed questionnaire and audiometric examinations. There was an almost four-fold increase in the odds of developing hearing loss from styrene exposure. In cases of the combined exposures to styrene and noise, the odds ratios were two to three times higher than the respective values for styrene-only and noise-only exposed subjects. The mean hearing thresholds were significantly higher in the solvent-exposed group than in the unexposed reference group at all frequencies tested. The study provides evidence that occupational exposure to styrene is related to an increased risk of hearing loss. Combined exposures to noise and styrene seem to be more ototoxic than exposure to noise alone.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Jan. 2003, Vol.45, No.1, p.15-24. Illus. 17 ref.

CIS 05-195 Berbare G.M., Fukusima S.S.
Hearing loss induced by high-speed motors among professional odontologists and odontology students: Audiometric analysis at frequencies ranging from 250Hz to 16kHz
Perda auditiva induzida por ruído de motores de alta rotação em odontólogos e alunos de odontologia: análise audiométrica em freqüências entre 250Hz e 16kHz [in Portuguese]
The objective of this study was to determine whether odontology students and dental surgeons were at risk of hearing loss related to the noise from high-speed motors used in this profession. The study involved 80 students and 40 dentists exposed to noise, together with a control group of 20 dentists unexposed to noise. All participants were subjected to audiometric examinations for frequencies ranging from 250Hz to 16kHz; those handing mercury were further subjected to a urinary mercury determination. Hearing loss was observed among 5% of the students and 70% of the dentists. Dentists exposed to noise showed a more pronounced hearing loss and higher levels of urinary mercury.
Revista brasileira de saúde ocupacional, 2003, Vol.28, No.107/108, p.29-38. Illus. 24 ref.

CIS 04-689 Cambou J.P., Cothereau C., Cantet C., Garneau M.J., Tournon C.
Role of audiometry in the management of occupational exposure to noise above 85dB: Results of the SURDIPOSTE survey
Place du bilan audiométrique dans la maîtrise du risque d'exposition à des bruits supérieurs à 85 décibels: résultats de l'étude SURDIPOSTE) [in French]
The objectives of this study were to classify railway industry occupations according to the risk of hearing loss associated with exposures to noise levels above 85dB and to highlight occupations where preventive actions need to be focused. This cross-sectional study involved 3150 noise-exposed and 636 non noise-exposed subjects recruited among French railway workers. Conventional frequencies audiometry (0.5-4kHz) was used to assess the hearing loss of each subject. The threshold used for hearing impairment was 30dB or more on the best ear. Multivariate analysis allowed a classification of the occupations according to the prevalence of hearing loss. The prevalence of hearing loss differed widely, varying from 2% to 21% among exposed subjects compared to 1.9% among non-exposed subjects. Among the 21 occupations studied, 9 were identified as being at high risk of hearing loss, 7 at moderate risk and 5 at low risk, comparable to that of the control group.
Archives des maladies professionnelles et de médecine du travail, Dec. 2003, Vol.64, No.7-8, p.486-494. Illus. 14 ref.

CIS 04-364 Solecki L.
Preliminary evaluation of occupational hearing loss among private farmers
The article presents a preliminary evaluation of occupational hearing loss among farmers in Poland. The study was based on data from 31 randomly-selected family farms carrying out mixed production (plant-animal), possessing 5-40ha of arable land and equipped with the basic mechanical equipment (tractors, agricultural machinery, machines for production of animal fodder, workshop machinery, saws). Polish Standard PN-ISO 1999:2000 was used to evaluate the expected hearing threshold among farmers, expected hearing loss due to noise, as well as risk of hearing impairment for male workers aged 50 and regularly exposed to noise for 30 years of occupational activity. The results of the study showed that the mean expected hearing loss associated with noise is 5.5dB, together with an age-related loss of 14.5dB. 9.4% of the population was estimated to be at risk of noise-induced hearing impairment.
AAEM - Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine, 2003, Vol.10, No.2, p.211-215. Illus. 22 ref. [in English]

CIS 04-76 Kerr M.J., McCullagh M., Savik K., Dvorak L.A.
Perceived and measured hearing ability in construction laborers and farmers
Construction and farming are characterized by small independently-operated enterprises; few are included in hearing loss prevention programs. This study describes perceived and measured hearing ability among construction labourers and farmers. Audiograms of 147 construction labourers and 150 farmers were statistically compared to their subjective perceived hearing ability. At the 4,000Hz frequency indicative of NIHL, a high percentage of both groups exhibited hearing loss greater than 25dB (53% of labourers and 67% of farmers). However, the relationship between perceived and actual hearing loss was poor, suggesting that systematic audiometric screening should be included in all hearing loss prevention programs.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Oct. 2003, Vol.44, No.4, p. 431-437. 41 ref.

CIS 03-650 Mizoue T., Miyamoto T., Shimizu T.
Combined effect of smoking and occupational exposure to noise on hearing loss in steel factory workers
This study was carried out to examine the possible synergy of smoking and exposure to noise on hearing loss. Data from periodic health examinations for 4624 steel company workers and they included audiometry testing and information on smoking habits. Occupational exposure to noise was estimated from company records. Logistic regression was used to examine the dose-response association between smoking and hearing loss. The prevalence rate ratio (PRR) of hearing loss was calculated for each combination of smoking level and noise exposure factor, taking non-smokers not exposed to occupational noise as a reference population. It was found that smoking was associated with increased odds of high-frequency hearing loss. The PRR for high-frequency hearing loss among smokers exposed to occupational noise was 2.56, while the PRR for smokers not exposed to noise was 1.57 and the PRR for non-smokers exposed to noise was 1.77. The synergistic index was 1.16. Smoking was not associated with low-frequency hearing loss.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Jan. 2003, Vol.60, No.1, p.56-59. 23 ref.


CIS 05-425 Palmer K.T., Griffin M.J., Syddall H.E., Pannett B., Cooper C., Coggon D.
Raynaud's phenomenon, vibration-induced white finger, and difficulties in hearing
An association has previously been reported between finger blanching and hearing difficulties, but only in workers with exposure to noise and hand transmitted vibration (HTV). This study explores the association in a community sample, including cases who lacked occupational exposure to noise or HTV. A questionnaire was mailed to 12,606 subjects aged 35-64 years, chosen at random. Subjects were classed as having severe hearing difficulty if they used a hearing aid or found it difficult or impossible to hear conversation in a quiet room. Associations of finger blanching with hearing difficulties and tinnitus were analysed by logistic regression. Among 8193 respondents, 185 reported severe hearing difficulty and 1151 reported finger blanching. After adjustment for age and years of work in noisy jobs, hearing difficulty was about twice as common in men and women who reported finger blanching, including those who had never been importantly exposed to noise and in those never exposed to HTV.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Sep. 2002, Vol.59, No.9, p.640-642. 11 ref.

CIS 05-424 Palmer K.T., Griffin M.J., Syddall H.E., Davis A., Pannett B., Coggon D.
Occupational exposure to noise and the attributable burden of hearing difficulties in Great Britain
The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of self reported hearing difficulties and tinnitus among the working population in Great Britain, and to estimate the risks from occupational exposure to noise and the number of attributable cases. A questionnaire was mailed to 22,194 adults of working age selected at random. Results indicated that some 2% of subjects had severe hearing difficulties. In men, the prevalence of this outcome rose steeply with age, from below 1% in those aged 16-24 years to 8% in those aged 55-64. The pattern was similar in women, but severe hearing loss was only about half as prevalent in the oldest age band. Tinnitus was far more common in subjects with hearing difficulties. In both sexes, after adjustment for age, the risk of severe hearing difficulty and persistent tinnitus rose with years spent in a noisy job. Findings suggest that the national burden of hearing difficulties attributable to noise at work is substantial.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Sep. 2002, Vol.59, No.9, p.634-639. Illus. 29 ref.

CIS 03-1186 Vogt J., Kastner M.
Tinnitus among air traffic controllers: A clinical occupational physiology study
Tinnituserkrankungen bei Fluglotsen: Eine klinisch-arbeitspsychologische Studie [in German]
An increased incidence of tinnitus was observed during 1997 and 1998 among air traffic controllers in the region of Düsseldorf (Germany), for which it was not possible to determine the cause by physical or bacteriological examinations. Consequently, eight air traffic controllers with this disorder were subjected to further examinations. The frequency and intensity of the tinnitus were determined by audiometric testing. Arterial pressure was measured, and immunoglobulin A and electrolytes were determined in saliva samples. Interviews were conducted to collect data on possible primary disorders and job workload. The daily degree of discomfort resulting from the tinnitus was determined by means of a standardized questionnaire. The most important risk factor highlighted was the shift allocation system, according to which it was possible to be assigned to day and night shifts within a 24h span. The high workload during these shifts, both during the day and at night, certainly also contributed to the appearance of the disorder. A new system of shift allocation was introduced, together with self-management and stress programmes which, according to the air traffic controllers, have already provided relief from these disorders.
Zeitschrift für Arbeits- und Organisationspsychologie, 2002, Vol.46, No.1, p.35-44. Illus. 38 ref.

CIS 03-1111
Health and Safety Executive
This leaflet contains information on how to prevent the risk of hearing damage in agriculture. Topics covered: legal requirements; what employers, employees and self-employed have to do regarding noise exposure; harmful noise levels; preventive measures to be taken when working with certain equipment (tractors, chain saws, barn machinery) or animals; different types of ear protection.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 6FS, United Kingdom, May 2002. 8p. Illus. 6 ref. [in English]

CIS 03-863 Morata T.C., Johnson A.C., Nylen P., Svensson E.B., Cheng J., Krieg E.F., Lindblad A.C., Enrstgård L., Franks J.
Audiometric findings in workers exposed to low levels of styrene and noise
This study involved a total of 313 workers potentially exposed to noise and styrene working at fibreglass and metal products manufacturing plants and at a mail distribution terminal. Workers exposed to both noise (measured by audiometry) and styrene had significantly worse pure-tone thresholds at 2, 3, 4 and 6kHz when compared with noise-only-exposed or non-exposed workers. Age, noise exposure and urinary mandelic acid (a biomarker for styrene) were the variables that met the significance level criterion in the multiple logistic regression. The odds ratios for hearing loss were 1.19 for each increment of one year of age, 1.18 for every decibel >85dB(A) of noise exposure, and 2.44 for each mmol of mandelic acid per g of creatinine in urine. The findings suggest that exposure to styrene, even below recommended values, has a toxic effect on the auditory system.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Sep. 2002, Vol.44, No.9, p.806-814. Illus. 37 ref.

CIS 03-297 Sułkowski W.J., Kowalska S., Matyja W., Guzek W., Wesołowski W., Szymczak W., Kostrzewski P.
Effects of occupational exposure to a mixture of solvents on the inner ear: A field study
The aim of this investigation was to assess the incidence of hearing and vestibular disorders in paint industry workers exposed to a mixture of organic solvents. The study involved 61 exposed workers and 40 age-matched. non-exposed controls. Environmental monitoring and exposure tests showed that exposures to mixtures of ethylbenzene, xylene and tri-methylbenzene isomers were the most significant. During electronystagmographic examinations, symptoms of vestibular dysfunction, as well as the decreased duration, amplitude and slow phase angular velocity of induced nystagmus were observed in 47.5% of the subjects exposed versus 5% of controls. These symptoms were accompanied by sensorineural high frequency hearing loss, together with reduced amplitudes of otoacoustic emissions. A possible mechanism responsible for ototoxicity of solvents is discussed.
International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, 2002, Vol.15, No.3, p.247-256. Illus. 30 ref.

CIS 03-387 Prasher D.
Toxic to your ears
It is widely recognized that exposure to noise can cause hearing loss. It is less known that exposure to industrial solvents can also pose a threat to hearing. Many workplaces feature both hazards. This article discusses the synergistic hazards of exposure to noise and solvents. It presents the NoiseChem study of the European Commission. The study will involve two research projects: a laboratory research to determine the mechanisms of ototoxic damage due to noise and chemical interaction, and an epidemiological survey in factories in several European countries. The results are to be published during 2004, and it is hoped that they will lead to appropriate prevention strategies. A table summarizing the audio-vestibular effects of several common solvents is included.
Safety and Health Practitioner, July 2002, Vol.20, No.7, p.36-38. Illus. 5 ref.

CIS 03-409 Smeatham D.
Health and Safety Executive
Noise levels and noise exposure of workers in pubs and clubs - A review of the literature
This report consists of a review of the literature published since 1985 on noise levels and noise exposure to workers in pubs and clubs. Differences in opinion, scientific rigour and derived conclusions make it difficult to estimate the number of individuals whose hearing will be impaired as a result of this exposure. Establishments in the entertainment sector often do not take action to reduce the noise level because of their perception of consumers' preference for loud music. Finally, there is a lack of practical guidance and experience in these issues among local authority safety and health inspectors.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2002. vi, 82p. Illus. 147 ref. Price: GBP 15.00. [in English]

CIS 02-1899 Daniell W.E., Swan S.S., McDaniel M.M., Stebbins J.G., Seixas N.S., Morgan M.S.
Noise exposure and hearing conservation practices in an industry with high incidence of workers' compensation claims for hearing loss
This cross-sectional study examined noise exposures and hearing conservation practices in the foundry industry in the State of Washington, where a high rate of hearing loss claims had been recorded. Ten representative foundries were evaluated with personal noise dosimetry, management interviews, employee interviews and the analysis of previous audiometric test records. Noise levels routinely exceeded 85dBA. No company was in full compliance with hearing conservation regulations. Most employees for whom audiograms indicated hearing impairment or loss had not been informed of the findings. Companies where more effort is put into hearing conservation programmes can achieve a higher employee awareness. However, there were broad deficiencies even in the better programmes in this sample, suggesting that workers in this industry probably face a continuing risk of occupational hearing loss.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Oct. 2002, Vol.42, No.4, p.309-317. Illus. 16 ref.

CIS 02-1901 Girard S.A., Picard M., Jean S., Turcotte F., Laroque R., Simpson A.
Hearing status and work-related accidents
Audition et accidents du travail [in French]
This cohort study examined the relationship between the hearing status of noise-exposed workers and work-related accidents. Hearing at 3, 4 and 6kHz and the accident records of 88,247 workers between 1983 and 1998 were reviewed. It was found that age and hearing loss were associated with the risk of being the victim of work-related accidents. For every group starting at age 25, a significant increase in accident rate was observed when permanent hearing loss exceeded 16dB, becoming more prominent for those individuals with greater sensory impairment. This was confirmed by cross-sectional analyses limited to those individuals with a baseline of 10 years of noise exposure. Furthermore, for each category of hearing status, the relative risk (RR) is higher when noise in the workplace is excessively high (≥90BA). Results also show that same workers categorized in various age groups from 25 to 64 years are at higher risk of accident with the oldest most severely impaired group showing the greatest risk (RR = 1.66).
Archives des maladies professionnelles et de médecine du travail, Dec. 2002, Vol.63, No.8, p.622-633. Illus. 45 ref.

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