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Revista Brasileira de Otorrinolaringologia

Print version ISSN 0034-7299

Abstract

BOTELHO, Carla Tomaz; PAZ, Anna Paulla Maia Lopes; GONCALVES, André Martins  and  FROTA, Silvana. Comparative study of audiometrics tests on metallurgical workers exposed to noise only as well as noise associated to the handling of chemical products. Rev. Bras. Otorrinolaringol. [online]. 2009, vol.75, n.1, pp. 51-57. ISSN 0034-7299.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-72992009000100008.

Exposure to ototoxic chemical products in the presence or absence of noise can cause irreversible injury to the hearing of workers for a significantly short period of exposure period. AIM: to perform a comparative study, through audiometric tests, in workers exposed to noise only and noise associated with chemical products. MATERIALS AND METHODS:155 steel workers (18 - 50 years) exposed to noise (group I), and exposed to noise and chemical products (group II) for a period that varies from 3 to 20 years. RESULTS: significant difference in the rate of occupational hearing loss in the right ear between groups I (3.6%) and II (15.5%). A significantly higher rate of occupational hearing loss in group II (18.3%) and I (6%). With respect to the average time of exposure to aggressive agents, group I was exposed by a significantly higher time. Retrospective study. DISCUSSION: The fact that the right ear was more affected in group II is controversial and should be better investigated in the future, since some studies show that the left ear would be more prone to noise-induced hearing loss. CONCLUSION: group II had proportionally a higher rate of hearing loss when compared with group I, even after having been exposed to aggressive agents for a lower average time.

Keywords : hearing; occupational; hearing loss; chemical products; noise; solvents.

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