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Noise exposure and hearing loss among sand and gravel miners.

Authors
Landen-DD; Wilkins-SW; Stephenson-MR; McWilliams-LJ
Source
J Occup Environ Hyg 2004 Aug; 1(8):532-541
NIOSHTIC No.
20025288
Abstract
The objectives of this study were to describe workplace noise exposures, risk factors for hearing loss, and hearing levels among sand and gravel miners and to determine whether full-shift noise exposures resulted in changes in hearing thresholds from baseline values. Sand and gravel miners (n = 317) were interviewed regarding medical history, leisure time and occupational noise exposure, other occupational exposures, and use of hearing protection. Audiometric tests were performed both before the work shift (following a 12-hr noise-free interval) and immediately following the work shift. Full-shift noise dosimetry was conducted. Miners' noise exposures exceeded the NIOSH recommended exposure limit for 69% of workers and exceeded the Mine Safety and Health Administration's action level for enrollment in a hearing conservation program for 41% of workers. Significantly higher noise exposures occurred among employees of small companies, among workers with a job classification of truck driver, among males, and among black workers. Hearing protection usage was low, with 48% of subjects reporting that they never used hearing protection. Hearing impairment, as defined by NIOSH, was present among 37% of 275 subjects with valid audiograms. Black male workers and white male workers had higher hearing thresholds than males from a comparison North Carolina population unexposed to industrial noise. Small but statistically significant changes in hearing thresholds occurred following full-shift noise exposure among subjects who had good hearing sensitivity at baseline. In a logistic regression model, age and history of a past noisy job were significant predictors of hearing impairment. Overall, sand and gravel workers have excessive noise exposures and significant hearing loss and demonstrate inadequate use of hearing protection. Well-designed hearing conservation programs, with reduction of noise exposure, are clearly needed.
Keywords
Hearing; Hearing-loss; Miners; Sand-and-gravel-mines; Nonmetal-mining; Noise-exposure; Occupational-exposure; Hearing-protection; Audiometry; Truck-drivers; Men; Racial-factors; Age-factors; Hearing-impairment; Hearing-conservation; Noise-induced-hearing-loss; Workers
Contact
NIOSH Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, P.O. Box 18070, Pittsburgh, PA 15236
CODEN
JOEHA2
Publication Date
20040801
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
DLanden@cdc.gov
Fiscal Year
2004
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Issue of Publication
8
ISSN
1545-9624
NIOSH Division
PRL; DART
Source Name
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
State
PA; OH; NC
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