2009 Volume 47 Issue 6 Pages 603-610
We assessed the exposure levels of noise, estimated prevalence, and identify risk factors of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) among male workers with a cross-sectional study in a liquefied petroleum gas cylinder infusion factory in Taipei City. Male in-field workers exposed to noise and administrative controls were enrolled in 2006 and 2007. Face-to-face interviews were applied for demographics, employment history, and drinking/smoking habit. We then performed the measurements on noise levels in field and administration area, and hearing thresholds on study subjects with standard apparatus and protocols. Existence of hearing loss > 25dBHL for the average of 500 Hz, 1 kHz, and 2 kHz was accordingly determined for NIHL. The effects from noise exposure, predisposing characteristics, employment-related factors, and personal habits to NIHL were estimated by univariate and multivariate logistic regressions. A total of 75 subjects were involved in research and 56.8% of in-field workers had NIHL. Between the in-field and administration groups, hearing thresholds on the worse ear showed significant differences at frequencies of 4 k, 6 k, and 8 kHz with aging considered. Adjusted odds ratio for field noise exposure (OR=99.57, 95%CI: 3.53, 2,808.74) and frequent tea or coffee consumption (OR=0.03, 95%CI: 0.01, 0.51) were found significant. Current study addressed NIHL in a specific industry in Taiwan. Further efforts in minimizing its impact are still in need.