Hazardous Workplace Noise Affects 22 Million U.S. Workers Hearing difficulties are three times as prevalent among workers exposed to occupational noise, according to data released by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The study was based on data from the 2007 National Health Interview Survey, which collected self-reported information on hearing problems, tinnitus and exposure ... News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   May 01, 2016
Hazardous Workplace Noise Affects 22 Million U.S. Workers
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Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Disorders / Professional Issues & Training / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   May 01, 2016
Hazardous Workplace Noise Affects 22 Million U.S. Workers
The ASHA Leader, May 2016, Vol. 21, 8. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB1.21052016.8
The ASHA Leader, May 2016, Vol. 21, 8. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB1.21052016.8
Hearing difficulties are three times as prevalent among workers exposed to occupational noise, according to data released by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
The study was based on data from the 2007 National Health Interview Survey, which collected self-reported information on hearing problems, tinnitus and exposure to occupational noise. The study found that:
  • Hazardous noise in the workplace affects about 22 million workers in the United States.

  • Among people never exposed to occupational noise, 7 percent had hearing difficulties, 5 percent had tinnitus and 2 percent had both.

  • Among those exposed to occupational noise, 23 percent had hearing difficulties, 15 percent had tinnitus and 9 percent had both.

  • Sectors with the highest risk of hearing health difficulties included agriculture, forestry, fishing, manufacturing and hunting industries.

  • Sales and related professions had a lower risk of hearing difficulties.

The study is the first report to provide prevalence estimates for tinnitus by industry sector and occupation, along with parallel prevalence estimates for hearing disorders. It appears in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.
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May 2016
Volume 21, Issue 5