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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 54  |  Page : 348--355

Hearing impairment among workers exposed to excessive levels of noise in ginning industries

School of Environmental and Earth Sciences, North Maharashtra University, Jalgaon, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Kamalesh J Dube
School of Environmental and Earth Sciences, North Maharashtra University, Jalgaon, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.85506

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Cotton ginning workers have a risk of hearing loss due to excessive noise levels at the workplace environment. In this study, estimates of typical sound levels prevailing at the workplace environment and its effects on hearing ability of the exposed workers were made among cotton ginning workers. Data on self-reported health status was collected by a questionnaire survey at 10 cotton ginning industries located at Jalgaon district of Maharashtra state, India. The cotton ginning workers were exposed to continuous noise levels between 89 and 106 dBA. The hearing ability of the subjects was accessed by pure tone audiometry. The results of audiometry show mild, moderate and moderately severe degree of hearing impairment among the cotton ginning workers. The data generated during the study show that hearing loss was significantly associated with period of exposure to the workplace noise (P <0.0001). The prevalence of audiometric hearing impairment defined as a threshold average greater than 25 dB hearing level was 96% for binaural low-frequency average, 97% for binaural mid frequency average and 94% for binaural high-frequency average in the cotton ginning workers. We recommend the compulsory use of personal protective equipment like ear plug by the cotton ginning workers at the workplace environment. A regular maintenance of ginning and pressing machineries will avoid the emission of excessive noise at the workplace environment of cotton gins. A regular periodic medical examination is necessary to measure the impact of workplace noise on the health of cotton ginning workers.


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