2018-04-01 12:00 - Messages

Cardiovascular conditions, hearing difficulty, and occupational noise exposure within US industries and occupations

Background: The purpose of this study was to estimate the prevalence of occupational noise exposure, hearing difficulty and cardiovascular conditions within US industries and occupations, and to examine any associations of these outcomes with occupational noise exposure.
Methods: National Health Interview Survey data from 2014 were examined. Weighted prevalence and adjusted prevalence ratios of self-reported hearing difficulty, hypertension, elevated cholesterol, and coronary heart disease or stroke were estimated by level of occupational noise exposure, industry, and occupation.
Results: Twenty-five percent of current workers had a history of occupational noise exposure (14% exposed in the last year), 12% had hearing difficulty, 24% had hypertension, 28% had elevated cholesterol; 58%, 14%, and 9% of these cases can be attributed to occupational noise exposure, respectively.
Conclusions: Hypertension, elevated cholesterol, and hearing difficulty are more prevalent among noise-exposed workers. Reducing workplace noise levels is critical. Workplace-based health and wellness programs should also be considered.

Source: Kerns, E., Masterson, E. A., Themann, C. L. et Calvert, G. M. (2018). American journal of industrial medicine.
https://doi.org/10.1002/ajim.22833

Preventing Hearing Loss Caused by Chemical (Ototoxicity) and Noise Exposure

Millions of workers are exposed to noise in the workplace every day and when uncontrolled, noise exposure may cause permanent hearing loss. Research demonstrates exposure to certain chemicals, called ototoxicants, may cause hearing loss or balance problems, regardless of noise exposure. Substances including certain pesticides, solvents, and pharmaceuticals that contain ototoxicants can negatively affect how the ear functions, causing hearing loss, and/or affect balance. The risk of hearing loss is increased when workers are exposed to these chemicals while working around elevated noise levels. This combination often results in hearing loss that can be temporary or permanent, depending on the level of noise, the dose of the chemical, and the duration of the exposure. This hearing impairment affects many occupations and industries, from machinists to firefighters.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2018-124/

Prevalence of hearing loss among noise-exposed workers within the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting sector, 2003-2012

Background: The purpose of this study was to estimate the prevalence of hearing loss among noise-exposed US workers within the Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting (AFFH) sector.
Methods: Audiograms for 1.4 million workers (17 299 within AFFH) from 2003 to 2012 were examined. Prevalence, and the adjusted risk for hearing loss as compared with the reference industry (Couriers and Messengers), were estimated.
Results: The overall AFFH sector prevalence was 15% compared to 19% for all industries combined, but many of the AFFH sub-sectors exceeded the overall prevalence. Forestry sub-sector prevalences were highest with Forest Nurseries and Gathering of Forest Products at 36% and Timber Tract Operations at 22%. The Aquaculture sub-sector had the highest adjusted risk of all AFFH sub-sectors (PR = 1.70; CI = 1.42-2.04).
Conclusions: High risk industries within the AFFH sector need continued hearing conservation efforts. Barriers to hearing loss prevention and early detection of hearing loss need to be recognized and addressed.

Source: Masterson, E. A., Themann, C. L., & Calvert, G. M. (2018). American journal of industrial medicine, 61(1), 42-50.
https://doi.org/10.1002/ajim.22792
 

Prevalence of Hearing Loss Among Noise-Exposed Workers Within the Health Care and Social Assistance Sector, 2003 to 2012

Objective: The purpose was to estimate the prevalence of hearing loss for noise-exposed U.S. workers within the Health Care and Social Assistance (HSA) sector.
Methods: Audiograms for 1.4 million workers (8702 within HSA) from 2003 to 2012 were examined. Prevalences and adjusted risks for hearing loss as compared with a reference industry were estimated for the HSA sector and all industries combined.
Results: While the overall HSA sector prevalence for hearing loss was 19%, the prevalences in the Medical Laboratories subsector and the Offices of All Other Miscellaneous Health Practitioners subsector were 31% and 24%, respectively. The Child Day Care Services subsector had a 52% higher risk than the reference industry.
Conclusion: High-risk industries for hearing loss exist within the HSA sector. Further work is needed to identify the sources of noise exposure and protect worker hearing.

Source: Masterson, Elizabeth, A., Themann, Christa, L., Calvert, Geoffrey, M. (2018). Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 60(4), 350–356.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000001214

ASTM E1374 - Standard Guide for Office Acoustics and Applicable ASTM Standards

This guide is intended for the use of architects, engineers, office managers, and others interested in designing, specifying, or operating office environments.
It is not intended to be applied to other environments, for example, open plan schools.
While this guide attempts to clarify the many interacting variables that influence acoustical performance, it is not intended to supplant the experience and judgment of experts in the field of acoustics. Competent technical advice should be sought for success in the design of offices, including comparisons of test results carried out according to ASTM standards.
This guide discusses the principles and interactions that affect the acoustical performance of open and closed offices. It describes the application and use of the relevant series of ASTM standards.

Source: https://www.astm.org/Standards/E1374.htm

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