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December/January 2007/2008 (vol. 04/4)

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Research Plus

Audiometric solutions

Research investigated possible auditory processing disorder and hearing difficulties in factory workers exposed to organic solvents – toluene, xylene, methyl ethyl ketone. Controls were non-solvent-exposed workers, matched for age, gender and education level. Both groups recorded mean normal hearing thresholds; however, significant threshold differences were found at some frequencies. Exposed workers scored worse than controls for speech discrimination, temporal resolution, temporal ordering and dichotic stimulation, and reported significantly more hearing complaints in daily life listening situations. The results and accompanying literature review suggest that pure-tone audiometry alone is insufficient to assess hearing in solvent-exposed populations.

International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health 2007; 20(3): 271–279.

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Occupational Health at Work December/January 2007/2008 (vol. 04/4) pp38