COUNCIL CHRONICLE – Many, different potential health problems that can develop in the workplace. Now, a study recently conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, one of the CDC’s divisions, goes to point out some of them.
The study found that there may be a link between a noisy workplace and high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and hearing problems.
Impacts of a Noisy Workplace
According to the study co-author, hearing loss is a direct negative health impact that can be tied to a noisy workplace. On estimate, almost 22 million Americans are exposed to loud noises at their workplace.
According to the study, it is believed that roughly 5 million cases of hearing impairment could be prevented among those being exposed to high levels of noise.
The study consisted of over 22,000 participants. Around 12% among them were reported to have hearing loss. The research identified potential factors such as family history and personal habits that might impact each person health.
After doing so, the researchers found that nearly 58% of hearing loss, 14% of high blood pressure, and 9% of high cholesterol cases were likely due to exposure to occupational noise.
As it can be easily seen, the occupational noise had the most significant impact on a person’s hearing. It is important to note that the researchers found a correlation, not causation. Correlation means that there is a link between these items, but the actual cause can’t necessarily be determined yet.
The study also points out that although a noisy workplace comes with potential risks for the health, it is nonetheless not recommending a perfectly quiet workspace either.
Loud noise can happen in many types of workplaces. Noise is considered loud (hazardous) when it reaches 85 decibels or higher, or if a person has to raise his/her voice to speak with someone 3 feet away (arm’s length).
— CDC (@CDCgov) April 3, 2018
Also, noise pollution can be reduced by simply turning down the volume, or by wearing earplugs or headphones, among others.
High levels of occupational noise can have many impacts on the human body. Many times it is thought that noise will only impact hearing, but new studies are beginning to identify other adverse effects of occupational noise as well.
Study findings are available in a paper released in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.
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