Noise-induced hearing loss remains one of the most prominent occupational
diseases in Europe. However, noise is no longer perceived as the only source of
work-related hearing damage and increasing attention is being paid to the risks
of combined exposure to high-level noise and ototoxic substances, that is,
those which can affect the structures and/or the function of the inner ear and
the associated signal transmission pathways in the nervous system.
A new publication of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work aims to
provide an up-to-date picture of our knowledge in this field.
It includes: a description of the basic features of the physiological
mechanisms leading to hearing impairment, current diagnostic tools, and an
overview of the chemicals that may be deleterious to the inner ear, ranking the
certainty of their ototoxic properties in a defined weight-of-evidence
approach. The review also identifies the health effects resulting from exposure
to multiple ototoxic substances and also from the interaction of ototoxic
substances and noise, pointing out the work areas where exposure to ototoxic
substances is likely. Finally, the report highlights gaps in our current
knowledge for proposed future action and research.
AplusA-online.de - Source: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work