Noise-Induced Hearing Impairment As An Occupational Risk Factor Among Nigerian Traders
AbstractNoise pollution in workplaces poses serious health risks including that of cardiovascular disturbances and impairment of hearing. The objective of this study was to assess the effects of occupational noise on hearing among selected industrial workers in Benin City, Nigeria. Male and female workers (n=150) in sawmills, Food Processing industries and Marketers of recorded music who had been exposed to high levels of occupational noise for between 1-14years were evaluated. We determined the ambient noise levels in their workplaces to be over 90dB. We analyzed the air and bone conduction defects for both their left and right ears. The results showed that noise-induced hearing impairment was present in 100% of the workers exposed for a period of 14 years. By 4-8 years, 100% of sawmill workers had developed hearing impairment. In addition, air-conduction pathway in the right ear was affected more than the left ear. In general, male workers were more susceptible to noise induced hearing impairment. In a situation of low level of awareness and dearth of enforced noise control laws in many developing countries, noise pollution can pose severe hearing impairment and other health risks.
Key words: Occupational noise, hearing, impairment, Nigerians.
Nigerian Journal of Physiological Sciences Vol.19(1&2) 2004: 14-19