Does chemical exposure in the workplace affect hearing?

March 4, 2015 by Robert Burgin
Does chemical exposure in the workplace affect hearing?
One in six Australians record some form of auditory loss.

With one in six Australians recording some form of auditory loss, a new study by The University of Queensland is examining how exposure to chemicals in the workplace can affect employee hearing.

Led by Dr Adrian Fuente of the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, the study aims to identify the most effective to detect problems caused by , and the safe levels of exposure to maintain healthy hearing at work.

Dr Fuente said certain occupations were more at risk than others, including painters, spray-painters, those working in textile, clothing and footwear factories, and aviation and lab workers.

"While much is known about the dangers of in the workplace, the public is often unaware of the role that certain chemicals can play in causing early ," Dr Fuente said.

"Hearing loss is relevant to many Australians and it affects not just the individual, but also their family, friends and co-workers.

"It can also cause isolation, including avoidance of social situations, problems communicating at work and miscommunication at home."

The study is currently seeking employees working in the painting, spray-painting, textiles, clothing, aviation and jet fuel, footwear and histology labs industries to participate in the research.

As part of the study, participants will have their hearing tested via non-invasive procedures.

"There is still not enough understanding of which levels of chemical exposure are safe for our ears," Dr Fuente said.

"I encourage people working in these industries to participate in this vital research, the outcomes of which could have a definitive impact on the Australian workplace in the pursuit of healthy hearing for all."

Explore further: UN says limit use of personal audio players to 1 hour a day (Update)

More information: Those interested in participating in the study should contact Laura Sheridan on l.sheridan@uq.edu.au or phone 07 3346 7489.

Related Stories

UN says limit use of personal audio players to 1 hour a day (Update)

February 27, 2015
(AP)—People who use personal audio players should consider limiting their use to one hour a day and turn down the volume to prevent permanent hearing loss, the World Health Organization said Friday.

Tinnitus study signals new advance in understanding link between exposure to loud sounds and hearing loss

February 14, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—A research team investigating tinnitus, from the University of Leicester, has revealed new insights into the link between the exposure to loud sounds and hearing loss.

School hearing tests do not detect noise exposure hearing loss

March 20, 2014
School hearing tests cannot effectively detect adolescent high-frequency hearing loss, which is typically caused by loud noise exposure, according to researchers at Penn State College of Medicine.

Youth are quietly losing their hearing

August 27, 2014
Children and teens constantly plugged into personal listening devices, such as phones, computers or music players, could be harming their ears without realizing it, says a Purdue University audiologist.

Music to your ears? New research examines evidence of damage to your hearing

August 19, 2014
Many people listen to loud music without realizing that this can affect their hearing. This could lead to difficulties in understanding speech during age-related hearing loss which affects up to half of people over the age ...

Recommended for you

To reduce postoperative pain, consider sleep—and caffeine

August 18, 2017
Sleep is essential for good mental and physical health, and chronic insufficient sleep increases the risk for several chronic health problems.

Despite benefits, half of parents against later school start times

August 18, 2017
Leading pediatrics and sleep associations agree: Teens shouldn't start school so early.

Doctors exploring how to prescribe income security

August 18, 2017
Physicians at St. Michael's Hospital are studying how full-time income support workers hired by health-care clinics can help vulnerable patients or those living in poverty improve their finances and their health.

Schoolchildren who use e-cigarettes are more likely to try tobacco

August 17, 2017
Vaping - or the use of e-cigarettes - is widely accepted as a safer option for people who are already smoking.

Federal snack program does not yield expected impacts, researchers find

August 17, 2017
A well-intentioned government regulation designed to offer healthier options in school vending machines has failed to instill better snacking habits in a sample of schools in Appalachian Virginia, according to a study by ...

Study shows cigarette makers shifted stance on nicotine patches, gum

August 17, 2017
The use of nicotine patches, gum, lozenges, inhalers or nasal sprays—together called "nicotine replacement therapy," or NRT—came into play in 1984 as prescription medicine, which when combined with counseling, helped ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.