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Noise Health. 2011 Jan-Feb;13(50):16-25. doi: 10.4103/1463-1741.73996.

The possible influence of noise frequency components on the health of exposed industrial workers--a review.

Author information

1
Department of Electronics Engineering, Vivekananda Institute of Technology, Visvesvaraya Technological University, Gudimavu, Kengeri Hobli, Bangalore-560074, India. kvmprashanth@yahoo.com

Abstract

Noise is a common occupational health hazard in most industrial settings. An assessment of noise and its adverse health effects based on noise intensity is inadequate. For an efficient evaluation of noise effects, frequency spectrum analysis should also be included. This paper aims to substantiate the importance of studying the contribution of noise frequencies in evaluating health effects and their association with physiological behavior within human body. Additionally, a review of studies published between 1988 and 2009 that investigate the impact of industrial/occupational noise on auditory and non-auditory effects and the probable association and contribution of noise frequency components to these effects is presented. The relevant studies in English were identified in Medknow, Medline, Wiley, Elsevier, and Springer publications. Data were extracted from the studies that fulfilled the following criteria: title and/or abstract of the given study that involved industrial/occupational noise exposure in relation to auditory and non-auditory effects or health effects. Significant data on the study characteristics, including noise frequency characteristics, for assessment were considered in the study. It is demonstrated that only a few studies have considered the frequency contributions in their investigations to study auditory effects and not non-auditory effects. The data suggest that significant adverse health effects due to industrial noise include auditory and heart-related problems. The study provides a strong evidence for the claims that noise with a major frequency characteristic of around 4 kHz has auditory effects and being deficient in data fails to show any influence of noise frequency components on non-auditory effects. Furthermore, specific noise levels and frequencies predicting the corresponding health impacts have not yet been validated. There is a need for advance research to clarify the importance of the dominant noise frequency contribution in evaluating health effects.

PMID:
21173483
DOI:
10.4103/1463-1741.73996
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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