Towards an Epidemiological Procedure for the Classification of Results from Screening Audiometry among Noise Exposed Workers
AbstractCurrent methods for the classification of hearing impairment of noise-exposed workers using screening audiometry do not allow a clear definition of the severity of the noise problem in a plant. An epidemiological procedure is proposed relying on a statistical index of the age effect on hearing sensitivity. An example of application of the procedure is presented for a population of foundry workers. It is shown that a worker has approximately 4 chances in 10 of suffering from a significant hearing loss when employed in this plant for 15 years. The reliability of the procedure is discussed in terms of the size of the target population and the influence of extra-occupational sources of hearing loss.
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