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Protecting Workers from Ear Damage due to Noise Exposure and Ototoxicants

Clark Seif Clark provides industrial hygiene testing and consulting services to identify and mitigate hearing hazards in the workplace.

Chatsworth, CA – WEBWIRE

Exposure to ototoxicants could occur through inhalation, ingestion or skin absorption

Several months back, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) published an advisory bulletin about protecting workers’ hearing. Preventing Hearing Loss Caused by Chemical (Ototoxicity) and Noise Exposure offers facts and tips to help safeguard the hearing of millions of at risk workers.
The bulletin specifically addresses ototoxicity (toxicity of the ear and its nerve supply) which can result from exposure to various chemicals or drugs that cause damage to the ear. This is an important topic as research has demonstrated that exposure to certain chemicals that are ototoxicants, may cause hearing loss or balance problems regardless of noise exposure. Substances, including certain pesticides, solvent and pharmaceuticals that contain ototoxicants, can negatively affect how the ear functions. Exposure could cause hearing loss and/or affect balance, which could be temporary or permanent.
“There are so many occupations, from machinists, construction workers and firefighters to metal fabricators and petroleum workers that could be at risk of exposure to ototoxicants and loud noises resulting in hearing loss,” said Zahid Iqbal, MPH, CIH and Technical Director at Clark Seif Clark (CSC). “Exposure to ototoxicants could occur through inhalation, ingestion or skin absorption. Any health effects caused by these chemicals could vary based on exposure frequency, intensity, duration, workplace exposure to other hazards and individual factors such as age. OSHA also warns of possible synergistic effects from the combined ototoxicant and noise exposure that could result in hearing loss even when exposures are below permissible exposure limits (PELs).”
Working to identify occupational noise hazards and exposure risks to ototoxic chemicals are the industrial hygiene and indoor environmental quality (IEQ) professionals at Clark Seif Clark. Their experts offer worksite assessments, inspections, testing, monitoring and training services to protect workers’ hearing and health. CSC has even sponsored an educational video about ototoxicity and ear protection that can be seen at:
To learn more about this or other occupational, indoor air quality, environmental, health and safety testing services, please visit, email or call (800) 807-1118. 
About Clark Seif Clark
CSC was established in 1989 to help clients in both public and private sectors address indoor air quality, occupational, environmental, and health and safety (EH&S) issues. CSC is a leading provider of these services with multiple offices along the western seaboard and southwest. The company believes in science-based protocols and has a strong background in engineering, making them the preferred environmental consultants to industrial clients, healthcare facilities, architects, schools, builders, contractors, developers and real estate professionals.

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 Industrial Hygiene
 Hearing Loss
 Occupational Health
 Occupational Safety

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