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,

Are your ears really protected?

Protect your earsThere is still a lot of noise in the workplace. Fortunately there are hearing protectors to wear and safe you from noise induced hearing loss. But hearing protectors such as ear plugs and earmuffs only work if they fit and are worn properly. Now you can check that with a webbased tool from NIOSH.

NIOSH’s QuickFitWeb is an online tool that allows users to check the fit of their hearing protectors in a minute or less. Read more and check your hearing protectors on the CDC NIOSH Science Blog.

Also check the instruction for the use of soft foam ear plugs or watch the video.

Filed under: Hearing loss, ,

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Annet Lenderink

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Diepenveen, Netherlands

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