Use of the kurtosis statistic in an evaluation of the effects of noise and solvent exposures on the hearing thresholds of workers

An exploratory study
The aim of this exploratory study was to examine whether the kurtosis metric can contribute to investigations of the effects of combined exposure to noise and solvents on human hearing thresholds. Twenty factory workers exposed to noise and solvents along with 20 workers of similar age exposed only to noise in eastern China were investigated using pure-tone audiometry (1000–8000 Hz). Exposure histories and shift-long noise recording files were obtained for each participant. The data were used in the calculation of the cumulative noise exposure (CNE) and CNE adjusted by the kurtosis metric for each participant. Passive samplers were used to measure solvent concentrations for each worker exposed to solvents over the full work shift. Results showed an interaction between noise exposure and solvents for the hearing threshold at 6000 Hz. This effect was observed only when the CNE level was adjusted by the kurtosis metric.

Source: Fuente, A., Qiu, W., Zhang, M., Xie, H., Kardous, C. A., Campo, P. et Morata, T. C. (2018). The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 143(3), 1704-1710.

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