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Year : 2002  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 14  |  Page : 31--39

Occupational exposure to insecticides and their effects on the auditory system


1 AUDIOCLINICA. Praça do Derby,Recife; Núcleo de Estudos em Saúde Coletiva/ Centro de Pesquisas Aggeu, Magalhães/Fundação Oswaldo Cruz Campus da Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, 50670-420, Brazil
2 Núcleo de Estudos em Saúde Coletiva/ Centro de Pesquisas Aggeu, Magalhães/Fundação Oswaldo Cruz Campus da Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, 50670-420, Brazil
3 National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Applied Research and Technology, Cincinnati, USA

Correspondence Address:
Cleide Fernandes Teixeira
AUDIOCLINICA. Praça do Derby, 177, Derby, Recife –PE 52010-140
Brazil
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 12678926

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The objective of this investigation was to study the effects of occupational exposure to organophosphates and pyrethroid insecticides on the central auditory system. The study group consisted of 98 workers exposed to insecticides and 54 non-exposed workers. Data on work history, medical history, present diseases, occupational and non-occupational exposure to noise or chemicals and lifestyle factors were obtained through an interview. Central auditory system functions were assessed through frequency patterns and duration patterns testing. Fifty-six percent of the exposed workers had hearing dysfunction at the central level and its relative risk was 7.58 for the group with exposure to insecticides (95% CI 2.9- 19.8) when compared to the non-exposed group. The group exposed to insecticides and noise had a relative risk for central disorders of 6.5 (95% CI 2.2-20.0) when compared to the non-exposed group and 9.8 (95% CI 1.4-64.5) when compared to the group exposed only to noise. The finding suggests that exposure to organophosphates and pyrethroid products can induce damage to central auditory system. Further research is needed on the ototoxic mechanisms of these chemicals, and on hearing loss prevention measurements that are applicable and adequate to such risks and populations.






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