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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...
Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Among Adults - United States 2011–2012
Introduction: The 2016 National Academies of Sciences report “Hearing Health Care for Adults: Priorities for Improving Access and Affordability” included a call to action for government agencies to strengthen efforts to collect, analyze, and disseminate population-based data on hearing loss in adults. Methods: CDC analyzed the most recent available data collected both by questionnaire and audiometric tests of adult participants aged 20–69 years in the 2011–2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to determine the presence of audiometric notches indicative...
One-day measurement to assess the auditory risks encountered by noise-exposed workers
Noise is one of the most pervasive hazards in the workplace. Despite regulations and preventive measures, noise-induced hearing loss is common. The current reference test is pure-tone air-conduction audiometry (PTA), but this test cannot be used to detect early hearing loss. Objective: In this study, we assess one-day auditory fatigue using both PTA and efferent reflexes (ER) measured using DPOAEs associated with contralateral acoustic stimulation (CAS DPOAEs). Design: The noise exposure history, PTA, and ER detection were performed in seven different companies where the LEX,8h was 85 dB(A). Hearing...
A Job-Exposure Matrix for Occupational Noise: Development and Validation
Objective : To develop a job-exposure matrix (JEM) for occupational noise in Sweden and to estimate its validity. Methods : The JEM, developed by a group of experienced occupational hygienists, contains 321 job families with information regarding occupational noise from 1970 to 2004. The occupational noise information derives from measurements collected from different sources. The time period label has a 5-year scale starting in 1970. The estimated average 8h (TWA) noise level in decibel [dB(A)] for every 5-year period was coded either as <75 dB(A), 75–84 dB(A), or ≥85 dB(A) and the...
Identification of quality attributes of automotive idle sounds and whole-body vibrations
The aims of this study are the generation and comparison of the semantic spaces of vehicle idling sounds and vibrations and the determination of their quality dimensions. In this study, two different sets of quality attributes were developed for idling sounds (34 attributes) and whole-body vibrations (22 attributes). In contrast to prior investigations, the results demonstrated that the sound level alone is an insufficient attribute for describing the complexity of idle sounds and vibration perceptions. The qualities of both idle sounds and idle vibrations have multidimensional, complex characters...
Noise-Induced Hearing Loss : Scientific Advances
Exposure to loud noise continues to be the largest cause of hearing loss in the adult population. The problem of NIHL impacts a number of disciplines. US standards for permissible noise exposure were originally published in 1968 and remain largely unchanged today. Indeed, permissible noise exposure for US personnel is significantly greater than that allowed in numerous other countries, including for example, Canada, China, Brazil, Mexico, and the European Union. However, there have been a number of discoveries and advances that have increased our understanding of the mechanisms of NIHL. These advances...
In Ireland, the average bar employee daily noise exposure is almost 4 times more than the accepted legal limit
Due to the transposition of the EU Directive 2003/10/EC into Irish Law, the entertainment sector was obligated to comply with the requirements of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007, Chapter 1 Part 5: Control of Noise at Work since February 2008. Compliance with the Noise Regulations was examined in 9 nightclubs in Ireland. The typical daily noise exposure of 19 bar employees was measured using 2 logging dosimeters and a Type 1 fixed position sound level meter. Physical site inspections identified nightclub noise control measures. Interviews and questionnaires...
Dental personnel in Thailand are exposed to noise intensities lower than occupational exposure limits.
This cross-sectional study was performed in the Dental School of Prince of Songkla University to ascertain noise exposure of dentists, dental assistants, and laboratory technicians. The peaks of the noise spectrum of dental instruments were at 1,000, 4,000, and 8,000 Hz which depended on the type of instrument. Noise measurement in the personal hearing zone found that the laboratory technicians were exposed to the highest impulsive noise levels (137.1 dBC). The dentists and dental assistants who worked at a pedodontic clinic had the highest percent noise dose (4.60 ± 3.59%). In the working...
Population in Michigan is exposed to noise levels with possibility of long-term adverse effects on hearing
A total of 73 000 person-hours of noise monitoring were conducted in this observation study. Median overall daily average levels were 79 and 77 dBLeq A,8,equiv , with average levels exceeding EPA recommended levels for 70% of participants. The authors concluded that a large portion of the general population is exposed to noise levels that could result in long-term adverse effects on hearing. Gender and occupation were most strongly related to exposure, though most participants in this study had occupations that are not conventionally considered noisy. Source : Flamme, G.A. et al. Typical noise...
Firefighters may be at an increased risk of exposure to high noise levels
45 male firefighters, aged 41.0 years with around 14 years of experience were followed up to characterize their exposures to noise and carbon monoxide. Noise levels were significantly greater on day shifts, among firefighters in non-supervisory jobs, for those working on engine and rescue trucks, by number of emergency calls they attended and in particular for motor vehicle accident (MVA) and building alarms calls, if subjects worked near or used fire equipment, or if they participated in active firefighting training activities. 1% of CO samples exceeded occupational limits, both full-shift and...
Duration of noise exposure, a better predictor than noise exposure levels
In this retrospective study, medical records of periodic occupational health examinations of 29,644 construction workers are analysed. Pure-tone audiometric thresholds of noise-exposed workers are compared to a non-exposed control group and to ISO-1999 predictions. Regression analyses are conducted to explore the relationship between hearing loss and noise intensity, noise exposure time and the use of hearing protection. For the first decade, the population medians show poorer hearing than predicted by ISO-1999. Duration of noise exposure was a better predictor than noise exposure levels, probably...
Repeated measurements of Hand-Arm Vibrations are crucial for good dose precision
This study was to assess hand–arm vibration (HAV) exposure during different grinding operations, in order to obtain estimates of the variance components and to evaluate the effect of work postures. In the wheel wear test, the equivalent hand–arm-weighted accelerations for Grinder 1 during the first and second grinding minutes were 3.4 and 2.9 m s −2 , respectively, and for Grinder 2, they were 3.1 and 2.9 m s −2 , respectively. For Grinder 1, the equivalent hand–arm-weighted acceleration during the first grinding minute was significantly higher ( P = 0.04) than during...
Construction workers followed for 10 years had a substantial potential risk of NIHL
Estimates were developed including work duration, trade-mean (TM)-equivalent continuous exposure level ( L EQ ), task-based (TB) L EQ , a hybrid L EQ combining TB and subjective information, and an estimate of noise exposure ‘peakiness'. Hybrid and TB exposure estimates demonstrated much greater variability than TM estimates. Work duration and estimates of exposure peakiness showed poor agreement with average exposures, suggesting that these metrics evaluate different aspects of exposure and may have different predictive value for estimating NIHL. Construction workers in the cohort had...
A hybrid of task-based and subjective rating of noise estimates is more accurate than exposure estimates from individual assessment techniques.
Any exposure estimation technique has inherent strengths and limitations. In an effort to improve exposure estimates, this study developed and evaluated the performance of several hybrid exposure estimates created by combining information from individual assessment techniques. Three single exposure assessment techniques [trade mean (TM), task-based (TB), and subjective rating (SR)] were used to estimate exposures for each subject. Hybrid techniques were then developed which incorporated the TM, SR, and TB noise exposure estimates via arithmetic mean combination, linear regression combination, and...
How much noise will cause hearing loss over a lifetime?
For many years, those working in the field of industrial noise control have struggled to educate people about how much noise will cause hearing loss over a lifetime. Part of the difficulty is a result of the logarithmic nature of decibel scaling. The concept of expressing noise exposure in industrial environments without decibels is the focus of this paper. Eldred (“Sound Exposure without Decibels,” Inter-Noise 86) discusses this approach for community noise.39 ANSI Standard S3.44-1996 defines sound exposure; the units are Pascals squared seconds, or PASQUES, as noted by Eldred. This...
Lower levels of noise may cause permanent hearing damage
Research suggests that levels of noise that are currently thought to result in only a temporary loss of hearing, may in fact cause permanent hearing damage. Source : http://osha.europa.eu/en/news/Noise-permanent-hearing-damage?sourceid=rss&utm_source=home&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rssfeeds
NIOSH Develops New Software to Analyze and Reduce Noise Exposure
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has been performing research to analyze and reduce hazardous noise exposure in mines. http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/mining/pubs/pdfs/2009-150.pdf

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