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Noise-induced hearing loss in children at work & play.

Martin-WH; Meinke-D
NIOSH 2007 Apr; :1-26
The October 19-20, 2006 conference titled Noise-Induced Hearing Loss in Children at Work and at Play brought together a diverse international group of basic and applied science researchers with expertise related to the prevention of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) in children and adolescents. The purpose of the meeting was to explore and discuss the most recent theoretical and experimental work in the relevant fields in an effort to expand the practical applications of the knowledge shared. The conference targeted the issue of NIHL in children and the millions of youth who begin their employment experiences as early as age 10-12 years, often in hazardous sound environments such as construction, agriculture, entertainment, and landscaping/grounds work while also participating in recreational and school activities that increase their risk and incidence of noise- induced hearing loss. Presentations were diverse and encompassed the areas of auditory development, auditory physiology, auditory and extra-auditory effects of hazardous noise, noise exposure sources and assessment, health communication strategies as well as intervention efforts including hearing protection, educational outreach efforts, and worker training targeting youth. The National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health's (NIOSH's) mission to provide national and world leadership to prevent work-related illnesses and injuries coupled with the National Institute on Deafness and Communication Disorders (NIDCD) mission to acquire new knowledge to help prevent, detect, diagnose and treat disease and disability related to hearing were both supported by this conference. The event included basic and applied science research, the exchange of ideas for effective intervention, and health communication strategies unique to children and young adults. The long term goal was to consider the implications, applications, and key scientific information critical to public health policy decision making, public information dissemination, and future research guidance for the prevention of noise- induced hearing loss in youth. Public health policy relevance: NIH estimates that one-third of hearing losses are due to NIHL, most of which occur in the workplace. Many children are noise-exposed at a young age and teens are often employed in hazardous noise environments without proper training or awareness of the risk. An unknown but significant number of children are likely to have NIHL due to non-occupational exposures. This conference contributed to the achievement of Healthy People 2010 Goals: Section 28-17: Reduce noise-induced hearing loss in children and adolescents aged 17 years and under and Section 28-16: Increase the use of appropriate ear protection devices, equipment, and practices.
Protective-measures; Preventive-medicine; Noise-induced-hearing-loss; Noise-exposure; Noise-sources; Hearing-impairment; Hearing-disorders; Auditory-system; Hearing-protection; Children; Age-factors
William Hal Martin, PhD, Department of Otolaryngology, Oregon Hearing Research Center-NRC-04, Oregon Health and Science University, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, Oregon, 97239
Publication Date
Document Type
Final Grant Report
Email Address
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Fiscal Year
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NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Disease and Injury: Hearing Loss
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Oregon Health and Science University