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Med Pr. 2010;61(5):493-511.

[Risk assessment of hearing loss in orchestral musicians].

[Article in Polish]

Author information

Zakład Zagrozeń Fizycznych, Instytut Medycyny Pracy im. prof. J. Nofera, Łódź.



The aim of this study was to assess sound exposure and the risk of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) in orchestral musicians.


Questionnaire inquiries and sound pressure level measurements were carried out in 63 musicians. Based on these data the risk assessment of the NIHL was performed according to ISO 1999:1990 (PN-ISO 1999:1990).


The classical orchestral musicians are usually exposed to sound at equivalent continuous A-weighted sound pressure levels of 81-90 dB (10-90th percentile), for 20-48 h (10-90th percentile) per week. Occupational exposures to such sound levels over 40 years of employment cause the risk of hearing impairment (expressed as mean hearing threshold level for 2, 3 and 4 kHz equal or greater than 25 dB) in the range of 13-33% and 9-33% in females and males, respectively. The highest risk is related to playing clarinet (up to 33%), tube (up to 34%), trumpet (up to 37%), trombone (up to 40%), percussion section (up to 41%) and horn (up to 47%). About 46% of respondents noticed hearing impairment. Nearly every fifth musician complained of tinnitus while almost half (48%) of them--of hyperacusis. However, only 14% of musicians declared present or past usage of hearing protective devices (HPDs) while over twice of them (30%) intended to use HPDs in the future.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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