Ramazzini; Blog on work and health by Annet Lenderink

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Daily exposure measures prevent further hearing loss

Interesting study on a preventive intervention for occupational noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Workers who could daily monitor their noise exposure “at-ear” experienced no further worsening of high frequency hearing 4 years after the intervention. This might be a promising approach to enhance the situation of this frequent occupational disease.

Effect of daily noise exposure monitoring on annual rates of hearing loss in industrial workers
Peter M Rabinowitz, Deron Galusha, Sharon R Kirsche, Mark R Cullen, Martin D Slade, Christine Dixon-Ernst
Occup Environ Med 2011;68:414-418 Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Hearing loss, Noise, Physical agents, ,

Combined exposure to Noise and Ototoxic Substances

Review by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work

Noise-induced hearing loss remains one of the most prominent occupational diseases in Europe. However, noise is no longer perceived as the only source of work-related hearing damage and increasing attention is being paid to the risks of combined exposure to high-level noise and ototoxic substances.

Ototoxic substances are chemicals which can affect the structures and/or the function of the inner ear and the associated signal transmission pathways in the nervous system. This publication aims to provide an up-to-date picture of our knowledge in this field.

It includes: a description of the basic features of the physiological mechanisms leading to hearing impairment, current diagnostic tools, and an overview of the chemicals that may be deleterious to the inner ear, ranking the certainty of their ototoxic properties in a defined weight-of-evidence approach.

The review also identifies the health effects resulting from exposure to multiple ototoxic substances and also from the interaction of ototoxic substances and noise, pointing out the work areas where exposure to ototoxic substances is likely. Finally, the report highlights gaps in our current knowledge for proposed future action and research.

Filed under: Chemical agents, Hearing loss, Noise, , ,

EMS professionals and hearing problems

In a group of 1,058 EMS professionals, 14.9% reported to have hearing problems. In this group 213 (20.8%) individuals reported utilizing some form of hearing protection at their main EMS job. These are the first US national estimates of the prevalence of self reported hearing problems and  self-reported utilization of hearing protection among EMS professionals.

Hearing problems among a cohort of nationally certified EMS professionals
Antonio R. Fernandez, MS, NREMT-P, J. Mac Crawford, PhD, Jonathan R. Studnek, PhD, NREMT-P , J.R. Wilkins III, BCE, DrPH
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, published online 16 Dec 2009 Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Hearing loss, Noise, ,

Police officers and noise induced hearing loss

To evaluate the association between police employment and noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) a cross-sectional study was performed on 887 policemen and 805 civil servants in France. After adjusting for potential cofounders, police officers were 1.4 times more likely to have a selective 4000 Hz hearing loss than civil servants (95% CI 1.1–1.9). This difference was greater between motorcycle police officers and civil servants (OR = 3; 95% CI 1.4–6.3). These data suggest that occupational noise exposure in police work, particularly in motorcycle police officers, may induce hearing loss.

Noise-induced hearing loss in French police officers
François-Xavier Lesage, Nicolas Jovenin, Frederic Deschamps1 and Samuel Vincent Occupational Medicine 2009 59(7):483-486 Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Hearing loss, Noise, Occupational diseases, , ,

Protecting your ears?

We know how damaging loud noise can be on hearing, but we tend to be sloppy when it comes to protection. Interesting view in daily pratice in:

Real world use and performance of hearing protection

This report considers the effectiveness of hearing protectors in everyday work situations. The study was undertaken in two parts.  The first consisted of interviews with employers to discuss management of noise and hearing protector use, and on site observation of hearing protector use. The second part was objective laboratory measurements of hearing protector insertion loss.

Filed under: Hearing loss, Noise,

Loud noise exposure related to acoustic neuroma

To investigate possible associations between risk of acoustic neuroma and exposure to loud noise in leisure and occupational settings a case-control study was conducted 108 subjects diagnosed with acoustic neuroma between 1 June 2000 and 31 August 2003. Two controls per case were selected from the electoral rolls and individually matched for gender, age (5 years) and area (local authority district) of residence at the time of the case diagnosis.noiseatwork

Acoustic neuroma was found to be associated with loud noise exposure (odds ratio (OR) = 2.55; 95% CI 1.35 to 4.82), both in leisure settings, particularly when listening to loud music (OR = 3.88; 95% CI 1.48 to 10.17) and at work (OR = 2.26; 95% CI 1.08 to 4.72).

This risk increased with exposure duration (>6 years’ leisure exposure: OR = 3.15; 95% CI 1.07 to 9.24). Risk varied according to the type of noise (continuous or explosive vs intermittent).

Can loud noise cause acoustic neuroma? Analysis of the INTERPHONE study in France
Hours, M, Bernard, M, Arslan, M, Montestrucq, L, Richardson, L, Deltour, I, Cardis, E. Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2009;66:480-486 Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Noise, Occupational cancer, Physical agents, ,

Noise raises tension

Too much noise is not only a problem for your ears, it can also raise your blood pressure. This is the conclusion of a study among sawmill workers in British Columbia, Canada:

Hypertension in noise-exposed sawmill workers: a cohort study
H Sbihi, H W Davies, P A Demers

Read the abstract of this recent study below.

The results are in line with other findings, for example in:

Hypertension and Exposure to Noise Near Airports: the HYENA Study
This study found significant exposure-response relationships between night-time aircraft as well as average daily road traffic noise exposure and risk of hypertension after adjustment for major confounders.

Road traffic noise and hypertension
A linear exposure-response relation was found between road traffic noise and self reported diagnosis of hypertension in 667/1000 residents of Stockholm, Sweden, who responded to a questionnaire.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Noise, Occupational exposure,

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Annet Lenderink

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