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Hearing Loss Among Construction Workers in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Hessel, Patrick A. PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: January 2000 - Volume 42 - Issue 1 - p 57
Original Articles

Hearing acuity among electricians, plumbers and pipefitters, and boilermakers with ≥ 20 years of union membership was compared with that of telephone workers. Automated pure tone audiometry was performed and a questionnaire was administered. Most construction workers were exposed to occupational noise and wore hearing protection. Median thresholds for electricians and telephone workers were comparable. Thresholds of plumbers and pipefitters were higher but comparable to expected values. Boilermakers had high levels of hearing loss. Thresholds at 4000 Hz among older workers were similar for all groups and were above expected values, suggesting a cohort effect. Audiometric screening seems to be warranted for some construction workers.

From the Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Address correspondence to: Patrick A. Hessel, PhD, Professor and Director, Epidemiology Program, Department of Public Health Sciences, 13–103 Clinical Sciences Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2G3; e-mail:

© 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.