The aim of this exploratory study was to examine whether the kurtosis metric can contribute to investigations of the effects of combined exposure to noise and solvents on human hearing thresholds.Methods
Twenty factory workers exposed to noise and solvents along with 20 workers of similar age exposed only to noise in southern China were investigated using pure-tone audiometry (1000–8000 Hz). Exposure histories and shift-long noise recording files were obtained for each participant. The data was used in the calculation of their Cumulative Noise Exposure (CNE) which was adjusted using the kurtosis data recorded for each worker. Passive samplers were used to collect solvent concentrations for each worker exposed to solvents over the full work shift.Results
We observed an interaction between noise exposure and solvents for the hearing threshold at 6000 Hz. This effect was observed only when the CNE level was adjusted by the kurtosis metric.Disclaimer
The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.