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Year : 2006  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 30  |  Page : 45--57

Audiological findings in workers exposed to styrene alone or in concert with noise


1 Karolinska Institutet, Section of Audiology, Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technique, Alfred Nobels AllÚ 10, S-141 83 Stockholm; National Institute for Working Life North, Department of Work and the Physical Environment, Umeň, Sweden
2 National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Applied Research and Technology, Cincinnati, OH, 45226, USA
3 Karolinska Institutet, Unit of Technical and Experimental Audiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Sweden
4 National Institute for Working Life, Dept. of Ergonomics, Stockholm, Sweden
5 National Institute for Working Life North, Department of Work and the Physical Environment, Umeň; Karolinska Institutet, Unit of Technical and Experimental Audiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Sweden
6 School of Psychology, Roehampton University, London, United Kingdom
7 Ear Institute, University College London, London, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Ann-Christin Johnson
Karolinska Institutet, Section of Audiology, Dept. of Clinical Sciences, Intervention and Technique, Alfred Nobels AllÚ 10, SE-141 83 Stockholm
Sweden
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.32467

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Audiological testing, interviews and exposure measurements were used to collect data on the health effects of styrene exposures in 313 workers from fiberglass and metal-product manufacturing plants and a mail terminal. The audiological test battery included pure-tone audiometry, distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAE), psychoacoustic modulation transfer function, interrupted speech, speech recognition in noise and cortical response audiometry (CRA). Workers exposed to noise and styrene had significantly poorer pure-tone thresholds in the high-frequency range (3 to 8 kHz) than the controls, noise-exposed workers and those listed in a Swedish age-specific database. Even though abnormalities were noted on DPOAE and CRA testing, the interrupted speech and speech recognition in noise tests were the more sensitive tests for styrene effects. Further research is needed on the underlying mechanisms to understand the effects of styrene and on audiological test batteries to detect changes in populations exposed to solvents.






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