Are you at risk for chemical-induced hearing loss?
Noise-induced hearing loss is permanent hearing impairment resulting from prolonged exposure to high levels of noise. While noise is a well-understood source of occupational illness, new studies are focusing on chemical-induced hearing loss (ototoxicity). This research seeks to determine if chemical substances alone, or noise and chemical co-exposure, contribute to occupational hearing loss. Given that many different types of workers are exposed to noise and chemicals at the UW, supervisors should keep this possible association in mind as part of their hazard communication to employees.