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  Citation statistics : Table of Contents
   2012| March-April  | Volume 14 | Issue 57  
    Online since April 18, 2012

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Review of the effect of aircraft noise on sleep disturbance in adults
Stéphane Perron, Louis-François Tétreault, Norman King, Céline Plante, Audrey Smargiassi
March-April 2012, 14(57):58-67
Noise exposure generated by air traffic has been linked with sleep disturbances. The purpose of this systematic review is to clarify whether there is a causal link between aircraft noise exposure and sleep disturbances. Only complete, peer-reviewed articles published in scientific journals were examined. Papers published until December 2010 were considered. To be included, articles had to focus on subjects aged 18 or over and include an objective evaluation of noise levels. Studies were classified according to quality. Given the paucity of studies with comparable outcome measures, we performed a narrative synthesis using a best-evidence synthesis approach. The primary study findings were tabulated. Similarities and differences between studies were investigated. Of the 12 studies surveyed that dealt with sleep disturbances, four were considered to be of high quality, five were considered to be of moderate quality and three were considered to be of low quality. All moderate- to high-quality studies showed a link between aircraft noise events and sleep disturbances such as awakenings, decreased slow wave sleep time or the use of sleep medication. This review suggests that there is a causal relation between exposure to aircraft noise and sleep disturbances. However, the evidence comes mostly from experimental studies focusing on healthy adults. Further studies are necessary to determine the impact of aircraft noise on sleep disturbance for individuals more than 65 years old and for those with chronic diseases.
  10 10,626 49
Noise exposure and auditory effects on preschool personnel
Fredrik Sjödin, Anders Kjellberg, Anders Knutsson, Ulf Landström, Lennart Lindberg
March-April 2012, 14(57):72-82
Hearing impairments and tinnitus are being reported in an increasing extent from employees in the preschool. The investigation included 101 employees at 17 preschools in Umeå county, Sweden. Individual noise recordings and stationary recordings in dining rooms and play halls were conducted at two departments per preschool. The effects of noise exposures were carried out through audiometric screenings and by use of questionnaires. The average individual noise exposure was close to 71 dB(A), with individual differences but small differences between the preschools. The noise levels in the dining room and playing halls were about 64 dB(A), with small differences between the investigated types of rooms and preschools. The hearing loss of the employees was significantly higher for the frequencies tested when compared with an unexposed control group in Sweden. Symptoms of tinnitus were reported among about 31% of the employees. Annoyance was rated as somewhat to very annoying. The voices of the children were the most annoying noise source. The dB(A) level and fluctuation of the noise exposure were significantly correlated to the number of children per department. The preschool sound environment is complex and our findings indicate that the sound environment is hazardous regarding auditory disorders. The fluctuation of the noise is of special interest for further research.
  10 5,221 21
Early occupational hearing loss of workers in a stone crushing industry: Our experience in a developing country
Emmanuel D Kitcher, Grace Ocansey, Daniel A Tumpi
March-April 2012, 14(57):68-71
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is an irreversible sensorineural hearing loss associated with exposure to high levels of excessive noise. This paper aims to assess the prevalence of early NIHL and the awareness of the effects of noise on health among stone crushing industry workers. This was a comparative cross-sectional study in Ghana of 140 workers from the stone crushing industry compared with a control group of 150 health workers. The stone workers and controls were evaluated using a structured questionnaire, which assessed symptoms of hearing loss, tinnitus, knowledge on the health hazards associated with work in noisy environment and the use of hearing protective device. Pure tone audiometric assessment was carried out for stone workers and controls. Noise levels at the work stations of the stone workers and of the controls were measured. Statistical Analysis of data was carried out using SPSS package version 16. The mean age of stone workers and controls was 42.58±7.85 and 42.19±12 years, respectively. Subjective hearing loss occurred in 21.5% of the workers and in 2.8% of the controls. Tinnitus occurred in 26.9% of stone workers and 21.5% of controls, while 87.5% stone workers had sound knowledge on the health hazards of a noisy environment. Early NIHL in the left ear occurred in 19.3% of the stone workers compared with 0.7% in controls and in the right ear, it occurred in 14.3% of the stone workers and in 1.3% of the controls; P<0.005. In conclusion, the prevalence rate of early NIHL among stone crushing workers is about 19.3% for the left ear and 14.3% for the right ear.
  7 8,813 37
Music to whose ears? The effect of social norms on young people's risk perceptions of hearing damage resulting from their music listening behavior
Megan Gilliver, Lyndal Carter, Denise Macoun, Jenny Rosen, Warwick Williams
March-April 2012, 14(57):47-51
Professional and community concerns about the potentially dangerous noise levels for common leisure activities has led to increased interest on providing hearing health information to participants. However, noise reduction programmes aimed at leisure activities (such as music listening) face a unique difficulty. The noise source that is earmarked for reduction by hearing health professionals is often the same one that is viewed as pleasurable by participants. Furthermore, these activities often exist within a social setting, with additional peer influences that may influence behavior. The current study aimed to gain a better understanding of social-based factors that may influence an individual's motivation to engage in positive hearing health behaviors. Four hundred and eighty-four participants completed questionnaires examining their perceptions of the hearing risk associated with listening to music listening and asking for estimates of their own and their peer's music listening behaviors. Participants were generally aware of the potential risk posed by listening to personal stereo players (PSPs) and the volumes likely to be most dangerous. Approximately one in five participants reported using listening volumes at levels perceived to be dangerous, an incidence rate in keeping with other studies measuring actual PSP use. However, participants showed less awareness of peers' behavior, consistently overestimating the volumes at which they believed their friends listened. Misperceptions of social norms relating to listening behavior may decrease individuals' perceptions of susceptibility to hearing damage. The consequences of hearing health promotion are discussed, along with suggestions relating to the development of new programs.
  4 9,558 35
Investigation of the relationship between aircraft noise and community annoyance in China
Di Guoqing, Liu Xiaoyi, Shi Xiang, Li Zhengguang, Lin Qili
March-April 2012, 14(57):52-57
A survey of community annoyance induced by aircraft noise exposure was carried out around Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport. To investigate the relationship curves between aircraft noise and the percentage of "highly annoyed" persons in China and also to get annoyance threshold of aircraft noise in China. Noise annoyance induced by aircraft noise exposure was assessed by 764 local residents around the airport using the International Commission on Biological Effect of Noise (ICBEN) scale. The status quo of aircraft noise pollution was measured by setting up 39 monitoring points. The interpolation was used to estimate the weighted effective continuous perceived noise levels (LWECPN) in different areas around the airport, and the graph of equal noise level contour was drawn. The membership function was used to calculate the annoyance threshold of aircraft noise. Data were analyzed using SPSS 16.0 and Origin 8.0. The results showed that if LWECPN was 64.3 dB (Ldn was 51.4 dB), then 15% respondents were highly annoyed. If LWECPN was 68.1 dB (Ldn was 55.0 dB), then 25% respondents were highly annoyed. The annoyance threshold of aircraft noise (LWECPN) was 73.7 dB, while the annoyance threshold of a single flight incident instantaneous noise level (LAmax) was 72.9 dB. People around the airport had felt annoyed before the aircraft noise LWECPN reached the standard limit.
  4 6,242 29
Multi-center study of noise in patients from hospitals in Spain: A questionnaire survey
Pilar Marqués, Dolores Calvo, Mari Paz Mompart, Natalia Arias, Enedina Quiroga
March-April 2012, 14(57):83-85
To identify the most annoying noises in the hospital environment. One hundred and ninety-three patients took part in the study. A questionnaire collected the perceptions of patients from four hospitals in Spain, with three distinct units. The most annoying noises were the repetitive ones and the most unbearable source was the people who talk loudly. The daily hours were the noisiest and the most annoying, especially when patients wanted to rest and indicated that noise was annoying for them to get to sleep. Our results demonstrate how sensitive patients are toward noise in Spain. We also suggest some strategies to reduce the noise and the harmful physiological effects of increased sound levels in order to improve the quality of life in a healthcare environment.
  1 3,850 13
Occupational noise exposure and regulatory adherence in music venues in the United Kingdom
Christopher Barlow, Francisco Castilla-Sanchez
March-April 2012, 14(57):86-90
Noise in most working environments is an unwanted by-product of the process. In most countries, noise exposure for workers has been controlled by legislation for many years. In the music industry the "noise" is actually the "desired" product, and for a long time the UK entertainment industry was exempt from these regulations. From April 2008, however, it became regulated under the Noise at Work Regulations 2005, meaning that employers from orchestras to nightclubs are legally required to adhere to the same requirements (based on ISO 9612:2009) for controlling noise exposure for their staff that have been applied to other industries for many years. A key question is to what degree, 2 years after implementation, these employers are complying with their legal responsibilities to protect the staff from noise? This study assessed four public music venues where live and/or recorded music is regularly played. Thirty staff members in different roles in the venues were monitored using noise dosimetry to determine noise exposure. Questionnaires were used to determine work patterns, attitudes to noise and hearing loss, and levels of training about noise risk. Results showed that the majority of staff (70%) in all venues exceeded the daily noise exposure limit value in their working shift. Use of hearing protection was rare (<30%) and not enforced by most venues. The understanding of the hazard posed by noise was low, and implementation of the noise regulations was haphazard, with staff regularly exceeding regulatory limits. The implication is that the industry is failing to meet regulatory requirements.
  1 8,863 23