New research by IRSST, a nonprofit scientific research organization in Quebec, Canada, examines the effect of chemical substances on hearing. In the research project titled “Effect of Chemical Substances on Hearing: Interactions with Noise,” researchers analyzed scientific literature to characterize the interactions between chemical substances and noise, and then examined the combined effect of noise and chemical exposure on auditory function. According to IRSST, the researchers hoped to determine the ototoxic agents most likely to interact with noise and propose prevention strategies to stakeholders.
The authors of the report found only two cases of chemical interaction with noise: that toluene and noise interact synergically and that carbon monoxide possibly potentiates the effects of noise. Due to a lack of toxicological data, the authors could not determine whether other chemicals interact with noise. The report concludes that other substances could have the potential to worsen noise-induced hearing loss and that occupational health and safety professionals should “remain alert for any new information about this potential problem.”
Read the report on IRSST's website. For more information on IRSST, visit the organization's home page.