Preliminary evaluation of occupational hearing loss risk among private farmers.
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Department of Physical Occupational Hazards, Institute of Agricultural Medicine, Lublin, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2003;10(2):211-215
The article presents a preliminary evaluation of occupational hearing lossrisk in a group of farmers selected at random and exposed to a mean annual level of exposure to noiseL(EX,8h) = 89.1 dB. The study covered 31 family farms carrying out mixed production (plant-animal), possessingarable land of the size 5-40 ha, and equipped with the basic mechanical equipment (tractors, agriculturalmachinery, machines for production of animal fodder, workshop machinery, saws). Polish Standard: PN-ISO1999:2000 was used in order to evaluate the expected hearing threshold among private farmers, an expectedhearing loss due to noise, as well as risk of hearing impairment. The risk of hearing impairment wasdetermined for the population of males aged 50, regularly exposed to noise for 30 years of occupationalactivity, assuming as a basis for calculations the mean value for 3 audiometric frequencies (1, 2 and4 kHz). The results of the study showed that the mean expected hearing loss (median; N(0.50)), associatedonly with noise for 50-year-old males after 30 years of employment will be: 5.5 dB (together with age-relatedloss: 14.5 dB). The risk of hearing impairment due to exposure to noise (for the allowable value of hearingloss: 30 dB), which may cause an occupational acoustic trauma, reaches the value 9.4 %. The results obtainedconfirm that noise present in the working environment of private farmers creates a significant risk forthe organ of hearing.
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