Occupational hearing loss is one of the most common work-related illnesses in the United States. Each year, about 22 million U.S. workers are exposed to hazardous noise levels at work. More than 30 million are exposed to chemicals, some of which are harmful to the ear (ototoxic) and hazardous to hearing. In addition to damaging workers’ quality of life, occupational hearing loss carries a high economic price to society.
In the United States, occupational regulations and standards were established to protect workers against the health effects of exposure to hazards substances and agents when certain values (or limits) are reached.