[Marxism] noise and worker's hearts

Les Schaffer schaffer at optonline.net
Thu Nov 24 09:59:05 MST 2005


Statistically small but interesting study. note that 70 db (decibels) is 
approximately the level of a vacuum cleaner or noisy traffic.

see charts for where 70 db sits in the spectrum of sound levels: 

    http://www.lhh.org/noise/decibel.htm
    http://www.chs.ca/info/noise/levels.html


critique of the ISHA standard:

   http://www.occupationalhazards.com/safety_zones/43/article.php?id=10466

les schaffer




Published Nature Online: 24 November 2005; | doi:10.1038/news0051121-9

Noise raises risk of heart attack
High sound levels at home or in the workplace increase heart danger.

Michael Hopkin

Chronic exposure to noise raises the risk of suffering a heart attack, 
according to a survey of more than 4,000 German heart patients. The 
health experts who carried out the study argue that the current legal 
noise-exposure threshold may not be sufficient to protect against this 
effect.

Living or working in a noisy environment raises the odds of suffering a 
heart attack by around 50%, reports a team led by Stefan Willich of the 
Charité Medical Centre in Berlin. They made the discovery after quizzing 
heart-attack patients in Berlin hospitals. They then looked at 'noise 
maps' and data from workplaces to quantify how noisy the patients' lives 
were.

[snip]

Instead, Willich suggests, constant exposure to noise might raise levels 
of stress hormones in those working in loud factories or living next to 
busy roads, which can ultimately affect heart health.

[snip]

The risk to industrial workers occurs at around 70 decibels, below the 
85-decibel threshold recommended by the US Occupational Safety and 
Health Administration to protect workers' hearing, the researchers point 
out in the European Heart Journal [1]. More research should be done to 
see whether this limit should be reduced to safeguard hearts as well as 
ears, says Willich.

Most surprisingly of all, the results show that women living in noisy 
homes are more than three times more likely than other women to suffer a 
heart attack. "We were absolutely astonished," says Willich. "This may 
be because women generally tend to spend more time in the home. But 
there may be biological differences."

References

   1. Willich  S. N., Wegscheider  K., Stallman  M. & Keil  T. Eur. 
Heart J., doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehi658 (2005).





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