Noise-induced hearing loss among textile workers

Ayele Belachew, Yemane Berhane

Abstract


Abstract: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Dire-Dawa Textile Factory in October-December 1994, to assess the prevalence of, and risk factors for, noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). A sample of 630 workers was selected from the factory rosters by means of systematic sampling technique. Data were collected through interview, otologic examination, and pure tone audiogram measurement. Environmental noise survey and personal dosemeter data were also collected to determine noise exposure levels at every section of the mill. The highest noise level in area samples was observed in the weaving section, with mean + SD of 99.5±3.2 dB. Audiometric tests, measured at a frequency of 4,000 Hz, revealed a 34% overall prevalence of NIHL, (hearing threshold level exceeding 25 dB), with the highest prevalence of 71.1% observed among the weavers. Preventive interventions were generally absent, with no employee reporting use of personal protective devices (PPDs). In view of the documented risk of NIHL among these workers, implementation of a hearing conservation programme is recommended. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 1999;13(2):69-75]

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