Came across this article in the ASHA Leader this weekend. Thought it was a good, quick read. Interesting to note that research is showing that “ototoxic chemicals might exacerbate noise-induced hearing loss even though the noise level is acceptable.”
Chemical and Noise Exposure Together Increase Risk of Hearing Loss
Workers exposed to acceptable levels of both noise and ototoxicants face an increased risk of hearing loss, indicates new federal guidance on hearing loss prevention in the workplace.
Identify ototoxicants in the workplace. Review Safety Data Sheets for ototoxic substances and chemicals, and for ototoxic health hazards associated with ingredients in the products. These required documents—prepared by manufacturers, distributors or importers—accompany hazardous chemicals and substances and outline their dangers, composition, safe handling and disposal.
Provide, in plain language, health information, safety information, and training to workers exposed to ototoxic chemicals.
Investigate Safety Data Sheets if workers report hearing loss.
Replace a hazardous chemical with one that is less toxic. If that is not possible, use engineering and administrative controls to limit exposure to ototoxicants and noise.
Determine the required personal protective equipment (general, respiratory and hand). To reduce skin absorption, consider chemical-protective gloves, arm sleeves and aprons.
Test for noise exposure.
Encourage the use of hearing protection and audiometric testing, even when noise and ototoxicant exposure levels are acceptable, to prevent hearing loss from synergistic effects.
The ASHA Leader, June 2018, Vol. 23, 10-11. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB1.23062018.10