A multicenter study on the audiometric findings of styrene-exposed workers.
Morata-TC; Sliwinska-Kowalska-M; Johnson-AC; Starck-J; Pawlas-K; Zamyslowska-Szmytke-E; Nylen-P; Toppila-E; Krieg-EF; Pawlas-N; Prasher-D
Int J Audiol 2011 Oct; 50(10):652-660
Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate hearing loss among workers exposed to styrene, alone or with noise. Design: This cross-sectional study was conducted as part of NoiseChem, a European Commission 5th Framework Programme research project, by occupational health institutes in Finland, Sweden, and Poland. Study sample: Participants' ages ranged from 18-72 years (n = 1620 workers). Participants exposed to styrene, alone or with noise, were from reinforced fiberglass products manufacturing plants (n = 862). Comparison groups were comprised of workers noise-exposed (n = 400) or controls (n = 358). Current styrene exposures ranged from 0 to 309 mg/m3, while mean current noise levels ranged from 70-84 dB(A). Hearing thresholds of styrene-exposed participants were compared with Annexes A and B from ANSI S3.44, 1996. Results: The audiometric thresholds of styrene exposed workers were significantly poorer than those in published standards. Age, gender, and styrene exposure met the significance level criterion in the multiple logistic regression for the binary outcome 'hearing loss' (P = 0.0000). Exposure to noise (less than 85 dBA p = 0.0001; greater than/equal to 85 dB(A) p = 0.0192) interacted significantly with styrene exposure. Conclusions: Occupational exposure to styrene is a risk factor for hearing loss, and styrene-exposed workers should be included in hearing loss prevention programs.
Hearing; Hearing-loss; Hearing-threshold; Styrenes; Exposure-assessment; Exposure-levels; Noise-exposure; Noise-induced-hearing-loss; Noise-levels; Noise-measurement; Ototoxicity; Risk-factors; Audiological-testing; Auditory-system; Demographic-characteristics; Statistical-analysis; Standards; Hearing-conservation;
Author Keywords: Pure-tone audiometry; Otologically unscreened; Noise; Hearing loss
Thais C. Morata, Division of Applied Research and Technology, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 4676 Columbia Parkway, C27, Cincinnati, OH 45226, USA
International Journal of Audiology