Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464
GONCALVES, Cláudia Giglio de Oliveira and IGUTI, Aparecida Mari. Program for hearing loss prevention in four metallurgical factories in Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2006, vol.22, n.3, pp. 609-618. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2006000300016.
This study analyzes noise control programs in four metallurgical factories in Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil. From 1997 to 2001, 741 workers were examined and the programs were analyzed based on workers' profiles (2,270 audiometric exams) and documents on hearing preservation programs. 41% of workers presented hearing loss (mean age 42.3; mean years of work 16.7). 104 workers with more than one audiometric exam presented changes in hearing threshold. 36.5% (38 workers) developed noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) and 63.5% (66 workers) with existing NIHL showed worsening of their hearing threshold. In these factories, 69.5% of workers were exposed to > 84dB(A). We concluded that the hearing preservation programs are not adequately organized and that workers are still exposed to high noise levels at work, posing a risk for NIHL. In addition, the current legislation on hearing loss prevention is not enforced.
Keywords : Occupational Exposure; Noise-Induced Hearing Loss; Occupational Health; Occupational Health Program.