Years of Loud Noise May Lead to Tumour

Potential tumour generator
© Hemera

“It doesn't matter if the noise comes from years of on-the-job exposure or from a source that isn't job-related,” said Colin Edwards, a doctoral student in the School of Public Health at Ohio State University.

The tumour, called acoustic neuroma, grows slowly and symptoms typically become noticeable around age 50 or older. The two types of loud noise posing the highest risk of acoustic neuroma development were exposure to machines, power tools and/or construction and exposure to music, including employment in the music industry.

Edwards and his colleagues gathered four years of data from the Swedish portion of the Interphone Study, an international study of cell phone use and tumours that affect the brain and head. “Loud noise” was defined as at least 80 decibels – the sound of city traffic. Categories for loud noise exposure included: exposure to machines, power tools and/or construction noise; exposure to motors, including airplanes; exposure to loud music, including employment in the music industry; and exposure to screaming children, sports events and/or restaurants or bars.

The two types of loud noise posing the highest risk of acoustic neuroma development were exposure to machines, power tools and/or construction (1.8 times more likely to develop the tumour) and exposure to music, including employment in the music industry (2.25 times more likely to develop the tumour.)

The number of years that a person was exposed to any category of loud noise also contributed to the development of acoustic neuroma. Just five years of regular exposure to loud noise increased the chance that a person would develop acoustic neuroma by 1.5.

The study results also suggest the importance of wearing ear protection when exposed to loud noises. People who reported that they protected their ears from loud noise had about the same risk of developing acoustic neuroma as people who were not exposed to loud noise.

MEDICA.de; Source: Ohio State University