Saf Health Work.  2017 Dec;8(4):329-336. 10.1016/j.shaw.2017.01.002.

Occupational Styrene Exposure on Auditory Function Among Adults: A Systematic Review of Selected Workers

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Public Health, Health Administration, and Health Sciences, Tennessee State University, Avon Williams Campus, Nashville, TN, USA. fpleban@tnstate.edu

Abstract

A review study was conducted to examine the adverse effects of styrene, styrene mixtures, or styrene and/or styrene mixtures and noise on the auditory system in humans employed in occupational settings. The search included peer-reviewed articles published in English language involving human volunteers spanning a 25-year period (1990–2015). Studies included peer review journals, case–control studies, and case reports. Animal studies were excluded. An initial search identified 40 studies. After screening for inclusion, 13 studies were retrieved for full journal detail examination and review. As a whole, the results range from no to mild associations between styrene exposure and auditory dysfunction, noting relatively small sample sizes. However, four studies investigating styrene with other organic solvent mixtures and noise suggested combined exposures to both styrene organic solvent mixtures may be more ototoxic than exposure to noise alone. There is little literature examining the effect of styrene on auditory functioning in humans. Nonetheless, findings suggest public health professionals and policy makers should be made aware of the future research needs pertaining to hearing impairment and ototoxicity from styrene. It is recommended that chronic styrene-exposed individuals be routinely evaluated with a comprehensive audiological test battery to detect early signs of auditory dysfunction.

Keyword

auditory system; human exposure; ototoxicity; styrene
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