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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/3674

Title: 85 dBA: is it protective enough to prevent hearing loss in South African miners?
Authors: Edwards, A
Keywords: Occupational exposure limit
85 dBA
Noise Induced
Hearing loss
Noise impact assessment
Mine workers
Noise levels
Hard Rock Safe Safety Conference 2009
South African miners
Otoacoustic emissions
Metallurgy
Mining
Issue Date: Sep-2009
Publisher: Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Citation: Edwards, A. 2009. 85 dBA: is it protective enough to prevent hearing loss in South African miners? Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Hard Rock Safe Safety Conference 2009. Sun City, South Africa, 28-30 September, 2009. pp 1-12
Abstract: The Occupational Exposure Limit (OEL) for noise is legislated to be 85 dBA. However, owing to the energy of different frequencies the effect on the ear by sounds of different frequencies is known to vary. Also, there is recent evidence of the synergistic effect of chemicals and noise on the inner ear. Similarly, previous studies have shown that combined exposure to noise and exercise (workload) will cause greater cochlea stress than exposure to noise in isolation. A miner is not exposed only to noise in isolation. The environmental stressors that a miner may be exposed to simultaneously can include noise, heat and exercise, amongst others. The hypothesis is that the OEL which does not take into account complex exposure patterns may not provide adequate protection for miners’ ears. A pilot study to evaluate the impact on the inner ear used otoacoustic emissions as a measure of stress to the cochlea was undertaken. Controlled exposure to noise, heat and exercise on a group of young healthy males and females was conducted using less than the prescribed OEL for noise. Pre-exposure and post-exposure otoacoustic measurements were compared to evaluate the impact of individual and combined exposures. Statistically significant differences were found between the pre-exposure and post-exposure otoacoustic measurements for noise as a stressor. Exposure to other health stressors did not appear to accentuate the effect on the cochlea. The results appear to indicate that further investigation of the current OELs and the methods and aspects being measured is needed.
Description: Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Hard Rock Safe Safety Conference 2009. Sun City, South Africa, 28-30 September, 2009
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/3674
ISBN: 9781920211271
Appears in Collections:Mining and geoscience
General science, engineering & technology

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