Chemical substances can harm hearing: report

January 28, 2010

Noise is not the only risk that can result in worker hearing loss -- chemical substances also can play a role, warns a new report (.pdf file) from the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work.

Published last month, the report seeks to advise researchers and policymakers on the hazards that workplace exposure to both noise and chemical substances can have on a worker's hearing.

Included in the report is an overview of chemicals that may be harmful to the inner ear. It ranks the certainty of the hearing-damaging -- or ototoxic -- properties of those chemicals, and reviews work areas where exposure to such substances is likely.