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Peripheral and central auditory dysfunction induced by occupational exposure to organic solvents.

AbstractOBJECTIVE:
To examine the effects of solvent exposure on hearing function, through an audiological test battery, in a population not occupationally exposed to high levels of noise.
METHODS:
One hundred ten workers from a coating factory were studied. Jobs at the factory were divided into three different levels of solvent exposure. Hearing status was assessed with a test battery including pure-tone hearing thresholds (0.5-8 kHz), high-frequency hearing thresholds (12 and 16 kHz), and dichotic listening measured through dichotic digits test. Multiple linear regression models were created to explore possible association between solvent exposure and each of the hearing outcomes.
RESULTS:
Significant associations between solvent exposure and the three hearing outcomes were found. Covariates such as age, gender, race, and ethnicity were also significantly associated with the studied hearing outcomes.
CONCLUSIONS:
Occupational exposure to solvents may induce both peripheral and central auditory dysfunction. The dichotic digits test seems as a sensible tool to detect central auditory dysfunction associated with solvent exposure. Hearing loss prevention programs may use this tool to monitor hearing in solvent-exposed workers.
AuthorsAdrian Fuente, Martin D Slade, Tanisha Taylor, Thais C Morata, Robert W Keith, Judy Sparer, Peter M Rabinowitz
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental medicine / American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (J Occup Environ Med) Vol. 51 Issue 10 Pg. 1202-11 (Oct 2009) ISSN: 1536-5948 [Electronic] United States
PMID19786896 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.)
Chemical References
  • Air Pollutants, Occupational
  • Solvents
  • Volatile Organic Compounds
Topics
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Air Pollutants, Occupational (adverse effects, analysis)
  • Audiometry
  • Auditory Diseases, Central (chemically induced, ethnology)
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases (chemically induced, ethnology)
  • Occupational Exposure (adverse effects, analysis)
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Solvents (adverse effects, analysis)
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (adverse effects, analysis)
  • Young Adult

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