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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 44  |  Page : 176--181

Non-auditory health effects among air force crew chiefs exposed to high level sound

1 Danish Defence, Occupational Health Center South, Treldevej 110, DK 7000 Fredericia, Denmark
2 National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Copenhagen, Denmark
3 Danish Armed Forces Health Services, Fighter Wing Skrydstrup, Skrydstrup, Denmark
4 Danish Air Force, Karup, Denmark

Correspondence Address:
Anker Jensen
Danish Defence, Occupational Health Center South, Treldevej 110, DK 7000 Fredericia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.53365

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The possibility of non-auditory health effects in connection with occupational exposure to high level sound is supposed by some researchers, but is still debated. Crew chiefs on airfields are exposed to high-level aircraft sound when working close to aircraft with running engines. We compared their health status with a similar control group who were not subject to this specific sound exposure. Health records of 42 crew chiefs were compared to health records of 42 aircraft mechanics and 17 former crew chiefs. The specific sound exposure of crew chiefs was assessed. The number of reported disease cases was generally small, but generally slightly higher among mechanics than among crew chiefs. Diseases of the ear were more frequent among crew chiefs (not significant). Former crew chiefs reported fewer diseases of the ear and more airways infections (both significant). The sound exposure during launch was up to 144 dB (peak) and 124 dB (L eq ), but for limited time. The study did not reveal a higher disease frequency in general among crew chiefs. However, it did reveal a tendency to ear diseases, possibly due to their exposure to high-level sound.


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