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J Occup Environ Med. 2013 Aug;55(8):960-5. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e318293aee0.

Hearing loss and use of hearing protection among career firefighters in the United States.

Author information

  • 1Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing Graduate Program, School of Nursing, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA. oisaeng.hong@nursing.ucsf.edu

Erratum in

  • J Occup Environ Med. 2013 Nov;55(11):1364.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the prevalence and characteristics of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) and the use of hearing protection devices (HPDs) among career firefighters.

METHODS:

A Web-based survey and a standard audiometric test were performed with 425 firefighters from three states in the United States.

RESULTS:

More than 40% showed hearing loss in the noise-sensitive frequencies (4 and 6 kHz). The left ear showed significantly poorer hearing than the right ear. Firefighters having longer years of work in fire services demonstrated significantly worse hearing. Reported use of HPDs was 34% of the time that was needed. Firefighters who used HPDs less were significantly more likely to have hearing loss.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study demonstrated a considerable NIHL problem and low use of HPDs in firefighters. More comprehensive hearing conservation programs should be implemented to reduce NIHL for firefighters.

Comment in

PMID:
23887702
DOI:
10.1097/JOM.0b013e318293aee0
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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