Working in construction can be a gruelling job. Grafting away on site in all seasons in some of the noisiest conditions. It’s tough. But, could these conditions actually be causing you health problems too?
According to a US study, noisy workplaces have actually been associated with the onset of high blood pressure and cholesterol. Of course, noisy jobs have already been linked with hearing problems but now, loud working conditions may also be contributing to the risk factors associated with heart disease.
The study found that noisy workplaces are associated with this due to the stress it causes to workers. This stress, in turn, causes the release of hormones such as cortisol. Alongside this, it also causes changes to the heart rate and blood vessels too.
Researchers accredited 58% of their participant’s hearing difficulties to occupational noise exposure. They also attributed 14% of high blood pressure cases and 9% of elevated cholesterol instances to noisy workplaces too.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s Elizabeth Masterson described, “A significant percentage of the workers we studied have hearing difficulty, high blood pressure and high cholesterol that could be attributed to noise at work.”
“If noise could be reduced to safer levels in the workplace, more than 5 million cases of hearing difficulty among noise-exposed workers could be prevented.”
“This study also provides further evidence of an association between occupational noise exposure and high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and the potential to prevent these conditions if noise is reduced.”
However, despite this, the study was unable to find a clear link between heart disease and noisy workplaces. Materson speculated that this may have been due to having too few participants with these conditions to be able to definitively link occupational noise to heart problems.
Duke University’s John Dement added: “The study itself does not establish a cause and effect relationship between noise exposure and the coronary heart disease outcomes.”
“It’s unclear, for example, whether noise exposure might cause high blood pressure or if high blood pressure might be a risk factor for hearing loss with or without occupational noise exposure.”
“I think it’s premature to draw too many conclusions about implications for patients beyond what we already know about preventing noise exposures and managing cardiovascular disease risk factors.”
Still, it might be a good idea to make sure you’re protected against noise on site. Even it’s not to save your heart, your ears will thank you for it!
So what do you think of this?Let us know in the comments below.