There was a rate of more than 55 percent of noise-induced hearing loss among Mexican employees in a cement factory, according to a recent study conducted in Mexico. In other areas of the factory, the rate reached up to 85 percent. Out of those workers, 70 percent had binaural hearing loss and 30 percent endured diminished ability to hear in one ear.
The ranges of hearing loss were between 20-30 dB to over 60 dB. There was 72 percent of employees who had binaural hearing loss between 20-30 dB at 4000 Hertz.
The employees were between the ages of 18 to 55. The number of years that they worked in the factory ranged between 1 to 31.
Years Worked and Subsequent Relevance
The number of years was an important factor in the study. Individuals who worked between 1 to 7 years were slightly less likely to endure any range hearing loss than those who worked between 8 to 31 years. The first group showed a risk of 50 percent, and the second group had a rate of approximately 70 percent.
In the crushing, crude milling, and cement milling areas, there were noise levels that reached over 90 dB. The greatest percentage of workers who had hearing damage, at 85 percent, were those in the calcination area. Even though this was not the loudest environment, employees needed to navigate through all of the other areas before arriving in this area.
What is the Effect of Decibels?
The study indicated that 65 percent of employees who were exposed to noise levels that reached over 90 dB, suffered from hearing loss. Among these individuals who were exposed to noise levels from 85 to 90 dB, 44 percent had problems with their hearing.
Hearing Protections that need to be Implemented
Being a loud work environment is dangerous to your hearing. An 8-hour workday with exposure to 85 dB, is the highest noise level permitted in the workplace.
Employers must provide hearing protection for employees and hearing evaluations. Steps should be taken at the noise source and other regulations should be enforced in order to reduce noise levels in the workplace if the suggested maximum noise levels are exceeded.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing work-related noise-induced hearing loss, or any other type of hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a number of hearing aid solutions that can be programmed for your specific needs.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require new hearing aid fittings, repairs, and re-fittings. We ask that you please wait in your car, while wearing your mask, and place your hearing aids in a clean zip lock bag. We will come to your car to get them. If you are having any issues with your hearing aids, please contact us before visiting one of our office locations.