Effect of Chemical Substances on Hearing: Interactions with Noise (IRSST)

While noise is the main cause of occupational deafness, certain chemical substances can produce ototoxic effects that may make the ear more prone to acoustic assault, as opposed to noise alone.
They are mainly solvents, asphyxiants, metals and pesticides, widespread in workplaces.
In Quebec, over 400,000 workers are exposed to high noise levels, which raises concerns regarding the prevention of hearing impairments.
After having evaluated the effects of chemical substances alone on hearing, this time, researchers will analyze literature data to characterize the interactions between these chemical substances and noise, at exposure levels respecting the current standards of the Regulation respecting occupational health and safety.
The results of this study will make it possible to determine the ototoxic agents that are most likely to interact with noise and to propose prevention strategies to stakeholders that take into account the additivity risk of the effects on hearing in situations of simultaneous exposure.