Long-Term Exposure to Fine Dust Linked to Hearing Loss

  • By Sun Jung-min

    February 16, 2022 12:07

    Long-term exposure to fine dust can contribute to hearing impairment, a report suggests.

    The report by a team led by Prof. Choi Yoon-hyeong of Gachon University Gil Medical Center is based on a survey of 15,051 adults in 2010-2012 and investigates the relationship between exposure to air pollutants near their home and hearing loss.

    The risk of hearing loss in the group exposed to fine dust above 50 ㎍/㎥ for three years before a hearing test was 20 percent higher than in another group who were not.

    Similar levels of hearing loss also occurred in a group exposed to higher than permissible levels of other pollutants like nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and sulfurous acid.

    "Hearing loss presumably occurs when air pollutants like fine dust stimulate oxidative stress in the body and damage the cochlea in the ear," Choi said.

    Other studies also show that fine-dust pollution increases the risk of cardiovascular, respiratory and skin diseases, and shortens people's lifespan.

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