High frequency hearing among rural workers exposed to pesticides

Tereza Raquel Ribeiro de Sena Solano Sávio Figueiredo Dourado Ângelo Roberto Antoniolli About the authors

Abstract

Pesticides may cause a number of health problems and are considered oto-agressive agents. The objective of this study was to investigate the high frequency hearing characteristics of workers both with and without exposure to pesticides, that presented normal conventional audiometry. It involved a cross-sectional study with 87 workers, of both genders, between 19 and 59 years, with formal or informal jobs and some of whom worked with family agriculture, either using pesticides or not, who had taken High-Frequency Audiometry tests. The use of glyphosate was reported by 73% of workers and several pesticide mixtures occurred in 78% of them. There were no cases of proper use of personal protective equipment recommended for the activity. The workers exposed to pesticides had worse results in High-Frequency Audiometry tests in comparison with those who had no contact with pesticides (p < 0.0001). High-Frequency Audiometry has proved to be a useful and effective tool in the early detection of hearing loss caused by pesticides.

Key words
Pesticides; Occupational health; Pure-tone audiometry

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