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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 240-244

Cumulative noise exposure and perceived effects: A comparative study among different occupational groups in Kolkata

1 Department of Community Medicine, Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
2 Community Medicine, Dr. B. C. Roy Multi-Speciality Medical Research Centre, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, West Bengal, India
3 Scientist F, Regional Occupational Health Centre (E), Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Arup Chakraborty
240, Golpukur Road, P.O-Baruipur, Distt-24Pgs (S) - 700 144, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijoem.ijoem_51_22

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Background: Adverse short-term and long-term health effects following a high level of noise have been established. The current study aims to find the relationship of these effects with an environment-specific level of noise exposure. Materials and Methods: A comparative cross-sectional study was conducted among 50 auto-rickshaw drivers and 51 age-matched service-sector employees. The peak average noise exposure in decibels (dB) was measured. The duration of exposure and response regarding perceptions following noise exposure was assessed through a pre-designed pre-tested semi-structured questionnaire. Results: The mean age of the participants was 42.24 (±13.72) years. Among the auto-rickshaw drivers, 82% perceived stress, 64% had hearing difficulty, and 74% complained of lack of sleep following exposure to a high level of noise. However, the perceptions were comparable among the comparison group and the differences were not statistically significant. The mean average peak level of noise exposure among drivers and their comparison group was 91.64 (±7.37) dB and 91.98 (± 8.06) dB, respectively, but were not different statistically. Around 52.94% of the service-sector respondents and 48% of the drivers were exposed to the lower cumulative noise levels. Those having a higher level of cumulative noise exposure, had a higher odds of feeling irritated (Odds ratio [OR]: 2.182, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.845–5.636), feeling stressed (OR: 5.805, 95% CI: 1.552–21.708), having palpitation (OR: 3.694, 95% CI: 1.264–10.793), and lack of sleep (OR: 3.020, 95% CI: 1.006–9.066). Conclusion: Stress and lack of sleep were the most important perceived effects of noise exposure. The exposures to the higher cumulative noise level in specified groups were more important in relation to quantifying perceived symptoms than the average peak noise level.


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