Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition
The Quiet Coalition usually doesn’t comment on occupational noise because workers have legal protection from noise exposure under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, with noise exposure standards, required hearing protection, and compensation for hearing loss, while the public has none.
We have commented–as have many others–that the occupational noise exposure standards are set too high, but we otherwise focus on the public.
But it’s important to note that most of what we know about the dangers of noise comes from occupational studies.
This report from the Centers for Disease Control documents increased blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as hearing loss, in workers exposed to noise.
Many research studies, the overwhelming majority from Europe, document these non-auditory health impacts of noise in the public, too, but it’s good to see these issues finally being noticed in the U.S.