Document Detail

The ototoxicity of styrene: a review of occupational investigations.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16151828     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to review critically a number of occupational investigations of the exposure and effect relation between inhaled styrene vapour and hearing loss. There is concern that workers' hearing may be impaired by exposure to styrene, as used in industries making plastics and fibreglass-reinforced products. METHODS: Seven occupational studies, each dealing with the ototoxicity of styrene, were examined. Factors assessed included the experimental design and number of subjects within exposure groups, measurement of the styrene-in-air concentration, confirmation of the styrene exposure by blood or urine analysis, determination of the hearing threshold levels for the exposure and control groups, and measurement of any occupational noise in the subjects' workplaces. Consideration was also given to statistical relations between high-frequency hearing loss and lifetime exposure indices for styrene and noise. RESULTS: The results are equivocal. Four investigations failed to find any effect of styrene on hearing thresholds. In contrast, other investigations claimed to have demonstrated styrene-induced hearing loss in industrial populations, with synergism between styrene and noise. However, these reports exhibited shortcomings of experimental design and data analysis. CONCLUSIONS: Considering the body of evidence as a whole, hearing deficits due to occupational exposure to styrene at low concentrations have not been demonstrated by scientifically reliable argument. There is some suggestion of an association between styrene exposure, occupational noise, and hearing dysfunction. Further studies in humans are necessary to clarify this question.
B W Lawton; J Hoffmann; G Triebig
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review     Date:  2005-09-06
Journal Detail:
Title:  International archives of occupational and environmental health     Volume:  79     ISSN:  0340-0131     ISO Abbreviation:  Int Arch Occup Environ Health     Publication Date:  2006 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-11-28     Completed Date:  2006-08-31     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7512134     Medline TA:  Int Arch Occup Environ Health     Country:  Germany    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  93-102     Citation Subset:  IM    
Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, University of Southampton, University Road, Highfield, SO17 1BJ, Southampton, United Kingdom.
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MeSH Terms
Hearing Loss / etiology*
Inhalation Exposure
Occupational Exposure*
Styrene / poisoning*
Reg. No./Substance:

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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