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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 96  |  Page : 178--189

Noise exposure and hearing status among call center operators

Malgorzata Pawlaczyk-Luszczynska, Adam Dudarewicz, Małgorzata Zamojska-Daniszewska, Kamil Zaborowski, Paulina Rutkowska-Kaczmarek 
 Department of Physical Hazards, Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Lodz, Poland

Correspondence Address:
Malgorzata Pawlaczyk-Luszczynska
Department of Physical Hazards, Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, 8 SW Teresy St 91 348
Poland

Introduction: The overall objective of the study was to assess noise exposure and audiometric hearing threshold levels (HTLs) in call center operators. Materials and Methods: Standard pure-tone audiometry and extended high-frequency audiometry were performed in 78 participants, aged 19 to 44 years (mean ± standard deviation: 28.1 ± 6.3 years), employed up to 12 years (2.7 ± 2.9 years) at one call center. All participants were also inquired about their communication headset usage habits, hearing-related symptoms, and risk factors for noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Noise exposure under headsets was evaluated using the microphone in a real ear technique as specified by ISO 11904-1:2002. The background noise prevailing in offices was also measured according to ISO 9612:2009. Results and Discussion: A personal daily noise exposure level calculated by combining headset and nonheadset work activities ranged from 68 to 79 dBA (74.7 ± 2.5 dBA). Majority (92.3%) of study participants had normal hearing in both ears (mean HTL in the frequency range of 0.25–8 kHz ≤20 dB HL). However, their HTLs in the frequency range of 0.25 to 8 kHz were worse than the expected median values for equivalent highly screened otologically normal population, whereas above 8 kHz were comparable (9–11.2 kHz) or better (12.5 kHz). High-frequency hearing loss (mean HTLs at 3, 4, and 6 kHz >20 dB HL) and speech-frequency hearing loss (mean HTLs at 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 kHz >20 dB HL) were noted in 8.3% and 6.4% of ears, respectively. High-frequency notches were found in 15.4% of analyzed audiograms. Moreover, some of call center operators reported hearing-related symptoms. Conclusions: Further studies are needed before firm conclusions concerning the risk of NIHL in this professional group can be drawn.


How to cite this article:
Pawlaczyk-Luszczynska M, Dudarewicz A, Zamojska-Daniszewska M, Zaborowski K, Rutkowska-Kaczmarek P. Noise exposure and hearing status among call center operators.Noise Health 2018;20:178-189


How to cite this URL:
Pawlaczyk-Luszczynska M, Dudarewicz A, Zamojska-Daniszewska M, Zaborowski K, Rutkowska-Kaczmarek P. Noise exposure and hearing status among call center operators. Noise Health [serial online] 2018 [cited 2018 Dec 11 ];20:178-189
Available from: http://www.noiseandhealth.org/article.asp?issn=1463-1741;year=2018;volume=20;issue=96;spage=178;epage=189;aulast=Pawlaczyk-Luszczynska;type=0