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Journal Article

Citation

Themann CL, Masterson EA. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 2019; 146(5): e3879.

Affiliation

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1090 Tusculum Avenue, MS C-27, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226, USA.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2019, American Institute of Physics)

DOI

10.1121/1.5134465

PMID

31795665

Abstract

Exposure to hazardous noise is one of the most common occupational risks, both in the U.S. and worldwide. Repeated overexposure to noise at or above 85 dBA can cause permanent hearing loss, tinnitus, and difficulty understanding speech in noise. It is also associated with cardiovascular disease, depression, balance problems, and lower income. About 22 million U.S. workers are currently exposed to hazardous occupational noise. Approximately 33% of working-age adults with a history of occupational noise exposure have audiometric evidence of noise-induced hearing damage, and 16% of noise-exposed workers have material hearing impairment. While the Mining, Construction, and Manufacturing sectors typically have the highest prevalence of noise exposure and hearing loss, there are noise-exposed workers in every sector and every sector has workers with hearing loss. Noise-induced hearing loss is preventable. Increased understanding of the biological processes underlying noise damage may lead to protective pharmacologic or genetic therapies. For now, an integrated public health approach that (1) emphasizes noise control over reliance on hearing protection, (2) illustrates the full impact of hearing loss on quality of life, and (3) challenges the cultural acceptance of loud noise can substantially reduce the impact of noise on worker health.


Language: en

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