Special Issue "The Global Burden of Noise Exposure"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Occupational Safety and Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Massimo Ralli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Sense Organs, Sapienza University of Rome, 00186 Rome, Italy
Interests: audiology; vestibular disordes; hearing loss; tinnitus; head and neck cancer; laryngology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Richard Salvi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Center for Hearing and Deafness, State University of New York at Buffalo, 137 Cary Hall, 3435 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14214, USA
Interests: tinnitus; hearing; noise-induced hearing loss; hyperacusis; central auditory system
Dr. Adam Sheppard
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Center for Hearing and Deafness, State University of New York at Buffalo, 137 Cary Hall, 3435 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14214, USA
Interests: hearing loss; noise exposure; otoacoustic emissions; tinnitus

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Occupational noise exposure is a global health hazard with considerable social and physiological impacts; it is estimated that in the United States only, over 22 million workers are exposed to hazardous noise at work.

Elevated workplace noise can cause hearing loss, tinnitus, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, performance decrement, stress, annoyance, sleep disorders, reduced temporal processing skills, immunodepression, and birth defects. Furthermore, evidence suggests an association between occupational noise and increased accident and injury risk following distraction, irritability, increased fatigue and prolonged reaction time.

An increasing number of studies suggests that adverse effects of occupational noise exposure can occur with exposures lower than many current occupational noise exposure limits. Therefore, it is important to focus attention on this public health threat and on its consequences in the medium and long term.

This Special Issue welcomes original and review studies in any subject area related to the effects of occupational exposure on human health, with a special focus on its impact on quality of life.

Dr. Massimo Ralli
Prof. Richard Salvi
Dr. Adam Sheppard
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • noise
  • occupational noise exposure
  • quality of life
  • noise-induced hearing loss
  • tinnitus
  • hypertension
  • ischemic heart disease
  • sleep disorders
  • occupational injury
  • immunodepression

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
Effect of Unmeasured Time Hours on Occupational Noise Exposure Assessment in the Shipbuilding Process in Korea
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8847; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168847 - 22 Aug 2021
Viewed by 509
Abstract
Occupational noise is known to be one of the most hazardous risk factors, frequently exceeding the exposure limit thus causing hearing loss and other health outcomes among many field workers in various industries and workplaces. This study aims to characterize the levels of [...] Read more.
Occupational noise is known to be one of the most hazardous risk factors, frequently exceeding the exposure limit thus causing hearing loss and other health outcomes among many field workers in various industries and workplaces. This study aims to characterize the levels of occupational noise exposure during the daily working hours and break periods (sampling preparation and lunch break), identify work-related characteristics affecting the noise exposure levels when including or excluding the break periods and finally determine the most effective approach for occupational noise exposure assessment by using the Korean and U.S. OSHA’s guidelines. A total of 1575 workers employed by a large shipbuilding company participated in this study, and the historical exposure datasets of noise dosimeters, collected from 2016 to 2018, were classified by characteristics. A threshold level (TL) for the noise dosimeter was set as a value of 80 dBA during the break periods, including the preparation time for sampling instruments and one hour for the lunch break. The shipbuilding workers were exposed to high levels of occupational noise during the break periods, especially for those working in heating, grinding, and power processes in the painting-related departments. Out of 1575 samples, most cases were related to the preparation time (N = 1432, 90.9%) and lunch break (N = 1359, 86.9%). During the break time, the levels of noise exposure were measured depending on task-specific characteristics. When including the break time, the noise levels increased by approximately 1 dBA during the break, combining 0.8 dBA in the lunch hours and 0.2 dBA for the preparation of the sampling instrument. When excluding the break time, the levels of noise exposure collected using a Korean Occupational Safety and Health Administration (KOSHA) guide tended to be underestimated compared to those using the U.S. OSHA method. When including the break times, the proportion of noise exposure levels exceeding the compliance exposure limit declined from 37.9% to 34.5%, indicating that the break times might affect the decrease in the noise exposure levels. Taken together, shipbuilding workers could possibly be exposed to much greater amounts of noise exposure during break times in the shipbuilding processes, and the noise exposure levels in the department of painting were high. Therefore, it is recommended that industrial hygienists collect exposure monitoring data of occupational noise one hour after their job tasks begin and then consecutively monitor the noise exposure levels for at least 6 h including the break periods for each day. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Global Burden of Noise Exposure)
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Article
Productivity Burden of Occupational Noise-Induced Hearing Loss in Australia: A Life Table Modelling Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(13), 4667; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17134667 - 29 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1069
Abstract
Background: Occupational noise-induced hearing loss (ONIHL) is one of the most common yet preventable occupational diseases. The aim of this study was to estimate the economic burden of ONIHL in the Australian working population by quantifying and monetising ONIHL—related loss of Quality Adjusted [...] Read more.
Background: Occupational noise-induced hearing loss (ONIHL) is one of the most common yet preventable occupational diseases. The aim of this study was to estimate the economic burden of ONIHL in the Australian working population by quantifying and monetising ONIHL—related loss of Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALY) and Productivity Adjusted Life Years (PALYs). Methods: We simulated the number of moderate-to-severe ONIHL by multiplying the age-specific prevalence of occupational noise exposure by the excess risks of ONIHL. Life table modelling was applied to workers with ONIHL. The QALY and PALY weights attributable to hearing loss were sourced from published data. The 2016 Gross Domestic Product per full-time equivalent worker in Australia was used to estimate the cost of productivity loss due to ONIHL. The cost due to the loss of well-being was quantified using willingness to pay thresholds derived from an Australian longitudinal study. Results: Under current occupational noise exposure levels in Australia, we estimated that over 80,000 male workers and over 31,000 female workers would develop ONIHL over 10 years of exposure. Following this cohort until the age of 65 years, the estimated loss of QALYs and PALYs were 62,218 and 135,561 respectively, with a projected loss of AUD 5.5 billion and AUD 21.3 billion due to well-being and productivity loss, respectively. Reducing noise exposure at work would substantially reduce the economic burden of ONIHL. Conclusion: ONIHL imposes substantial burden on Australian economy. Interventions to reduce occupational noise exposure are warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Global Burden of Noise Exposure)
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Review

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Review
Loud Music and Leisure Noise Is a Common Cause of Chronic Hearing Loss, Tinnitus and Hyperacusis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 4236; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084236 - 16 Apr 2021
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Abstract
High sound levels capable of permanently damaging the ear are experienced not only in factories and war zones but in concert halls, nightclubs, sports stadiums, and many other leisure environments. This review summarizes evidence that loud music and other forms of “leisure noise” [...] Read more.
High sound levels capable of permanently damaging the ear are experienced not only in factories and war zones but in concert halls, nightclubs, sports stadiums, and many other leisure environments. This review summarizes evidence that loud music and other forms of “leisure noise” are common causes of noise-induced hearing loss, tinnitus, and hyperacusis, even if audiometric thresholds initially remain within clinically normal limits. Given the huge global burden of preventable noise-induced hearing loss, noise limits should be adopted in a much broader range of settings, and education to promote hearing conservation should be a higher public health priority. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Global Burden of Noise Exposure)
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Review
Occupational Noise: Auditory and Non-Auditory Consequences
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 8963; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238963 - 02 Dec 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 950
Abstract
Occupational noise exposure accounts for approximately 16% of all disabling hearing losses, but the true value and societal costs may be grossly underestimated because current regulations only identify hearing impairments in the workplace if exposures result in audiometric threshold shifts within a limited [...] Read more.
Occupational noise exposure accounts for approximately 16% of all disabling hearing losses, but the true value and societal costs may be grossly underestimated because current regulations only identify hearing impairments in the workplace if exposures result in audiometric threshold shifts within a limited frequency region. Research over the past several decades indicates that occupational noise exposures can cause other serious auditory deficits such as tinnitus, hyperacusis, extended high-frequency hearing loss, and poor speech perception in noise. Beyond the audiogram, there is growing awareness that hearing loss is a significant risk factor for other debilitating and potentially life-threatening disorders such as cardiovascular disease and dementia. This review discusses some of the shortcomings and limitations of current noise regulations in the United States and Europe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Global Burden of Noise Exposure)
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