Effects of coexposure to noise and mixture of organic solvents on hearing in dockyard workers

J Occup Environ Med. 2004 Jan;46(1):30-8. doi: 10.1097/01.jom.0000105912.29242.5b.


Questionnaire and audiometric data of 701 dockyard workers (517 noise and organic solvent mixture-exposed and 184 noise-only-exposed) were referred to 205 control subjects not exposed to either noise or solvents. The odds ratio (OR) of hearing loss was significantly increased by approximately 3 times in the noise-only group and by almost 5 times in the noise and solvent group. A moderate effect of solvent ototoxicity, in addition to noise, was observed on hearing threshold at a frequency 8 kHz. ORs for hearing loss were 1.12 for each increment of 1 year of age, 1.07 for every decibel of lifetime noise exposure (dB-A), and 1.004 for each increment of the index of lifetime exposure to solvents. The results suggest an additive damaging effect of coexposure to noise and organic solvents to the auditory organ.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss / chemically induced
  • Hearing Loss / epidemiology
  • Hearing Loss / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Noise, Occupational / adverse effects*
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk
  • Solvents / adverse effects*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Solvents