Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Scand J Work Environ Health. 2010 May;36(3):242-9. Epub 2010 Mar 26.

Modeling the Unites States government's economic cost of noise-induced hearing loss for a military population.

Author information

1
Department of Communication Sciences, University of Connecticut, 850 Bolton Road, Unit 1085, Storrs, CT 06269, USA. jennifer.tufts@uconn.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the feasibility and utility of developing economic cost models for noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). First, we outline an economic model of NIHL for a population of US Navy sailors with an "industrial"-type noise exposure. Next, we describe the effect on NIHL-related cost of varying the two central model inputs--the noise-exposure level and the duration of exposure. Such an analysis can help prioritize promising areas, to which limited resources to reduce NIHL-related costs should be devoted.

METHODS:

NIHL-related costs borne by the US government were computed on a yearly basis using a finite element approach that took into account varying levels of susceptibility to NIHL. Predicted hearing thresholds for the population were computed with ANSI S3.44-1996 and then used as the basis for the calculation of NIHL-related costs. Annual and cumulative costs were tracked. Noise-exposure level and duration were systematically varied to determine their effects on the expected lifetime NIHL-related cost of a specific US Navy sailor population.

RESULTS:

Our nominal noise-exposure case [93 dB(A) for six years] yielded a total expected lifetime cost of US $13,472 per sailor, with plausible lower and upper bounds of US $2,500 and US $26,000. Starting with the nominal case, a decrease of 50% in exposure level or duration would yield cost savings of approximately 23% and 19%, respectively. We concluded that a reduction in noise level would be more somewhat more cost-effective than the same percentage reduction in years of exposure.

CONCLUSION:

Our economic cost model can be used to estimate the changes in NIHL-related costs that would result from changes in noise-exposure level and/or duration for a single military population. Although the model is limited at present, suggestions are provided for adapting it to civilian populations.

PMID:
20339823
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health
    Loading ...
    Support Center