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A Living Legacy Of Noise Induced Hearing Loss

Around 10 million people possess some form of hearing loss and over three quarters of a million suffer with severely impaired hearing.

 
PRLog - Sep. 29, 2011 - The legacy of the UK’s industrial past and the toll it took upon a workforce employed in the many excessively noisy factories and workshops is still very alive today. Around 10 million people possess some form of hearing loss and over three quarters of a million suffer with severely impaired hearing.

For most of the twentieth century, right up until the early 1960s, noise levels in the workplace were not even recognised as presenting a health risk. Countless thousands of heavy engineering, industrial production and manufacturing employees throughout the North of England and the Midlands were unaware of the hearing damage they were being subjected to every single day of their working lives.

Awareness of the risk of industrial deafness came to better promimence in 1963, but it was not until 1974 that a real attempt to reduce employee exposure to loud noise levels was made with the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act together with the Health and Safety Executive Code of Practice. Another ten years elapsed until, in 1986, an European ruling was finally put into place in the UK under the Noise at Work Regulations, 1989.

The problems associated with prolonged and/or excessive noise exposure and the risks of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) have not gone away. Still one of the most persistent of occupational health hazards despite of legislation, employer responsibility and availability of hearing protection. Too often, awareness of a hearing problem can be extremely difficult, either, because of becoming accustomed to the surrounding noise levels or the difference in individual hearing frequency responses.

However, exposure to excessive or high noise levels will not only cause longer term hearing loss but can also be responsible for tinnitus, fatigue, raised blood pressure, chronic headaches and stress. Noise intensity and duration of exposure are key factors in determining levels of long term hearing damage and permanent hearing loss. The permissible daily level of exposure to noise threshold is 85 dB(A) for eight hours. For every 3 dBs over 85dB, exposure time reduces by one half before risk of hearing damage occurs. The exposure limit for 112 dB(A) is less than one minute.

Noise exposure is not only categorised by soundwave frequency, but also by whether the noise is continuous, intermittent or impulsive. While continuous noise is easily monitored and well documented for its effects on hearing loss, and intermittent noise may possibly allow a period of recovery time, impulsive noise - also known as acoustic trauma - such as gunshots, cannon fire or striking metal can be very dangerous without adequate ear protection.  

Noise induced hearing loss is usually a very gradual process, and consequently, is often ignored and underestimated until it is too late to take preventive action or to reverse the effects of the damage caused by years of excessive noise exposure.

Visit http://www.hearinglossadvice.co.uk for more information and advice.

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Offering clear information, advice and FAQ's on hearing loss and industrial related deafness.

Visit http://www.hearinglossadvice.co.uk for more information and advice.

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Contact Email:
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Source:Hearing Loss Advice
City/Town:Manchester - Manchester - United Kingdom
Industry:Medical, Government, Health
Tags:hearing loss, hearing damage, industrial deafness, noise induced hearing loss
Shortcut:prlog.org/11678144
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