Chemicals and Noise

A Hazardous Combination
It is no surprise that most work-related hearing loss is caused by noise exposure, and that genetics and age can also be contributors. What may not be as well known is that some chemical exposures can pose a potential risk to hearing. Both animal experiments and human studies suggest that certain chemical exposures may cause "ototoxic" effects (damage the hearing and balance functions of the ear). In general, the exposure concentrations that cause these effects are considered high. However, exposure to some of these chemicals and noise at the same time can significantly increase the risk of developing ototoxic effects.


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