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Year: 2004  Vol. 8   Num. 4  - Oct/Dec Print:
Original Article
Texto Text in Portuguese
Audiometric Findings of Agricultural Workers
Perfil Audiomtrico de Trabalhadores Agrcolas
Christiane Werlang Manjabosco*, Thas Catalani Morata**, Jair Mendes Marques***.
Key words:
hearing loss, agricultural workers, tinnitus.

Introduction: Agricultural workers are exposed to agents that can be harmful to health. It has been shown that these workers may present some hearing damage. Objective: Describe the agricultural workers audiometric profile, in order to document the influence of farm work on the workers hearing. Methods: An interview and audiometric evaluation were conducted with two groups matched by age. Group 1, with 42 men who work in agriculture, expose to machinery noise associate or not to direct or indirect contact with pesticides; Group 2, with 42 men who work in other occupations, with no exposure to agents that can be harmful to hearing and who had no history of hearing problems. Results: In the first group, 60% (25) of the farm workers had hearing problems. Among them, 23 were considered to be occupational hearing losses (17% were exposed only to noise, 83% are exposed to noise and to pesticides). Fifty-seven percent (17) complained of tinnitus. Among the 19 people who applied pesticides, 42% (8) had a history of pesticide poisoning. In the second group, only 7% (3) had hearing problems. The mean hearing thresholds of the agricultural workers were statistically poorer in the 3 to 8 kHz frequency range than the non-exposed group, suggesting an association between agricultural work and hearing damage. Conclusions: The need for hearing loss prevention programs was discussed in order to control this problem among those who are exposed to noise and pesticides in agriculture.



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