Preschool Personnel Exposure to Occupational Noise

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Abstract

Increased noise, which is also below the occupational exposure values and is "hearing safe" noise, affects the exposed person's health as a non-specific stressor. Increased noise level also creates an environment for additional vocal apparatus load. The objective of this study was to determine preschool personnel occupational noise and its relationship with subjective health complaints. Data were obtained with survey assistance through subjective answers of respondents about health complaints and noise exposure among Riga preschool personnel. Objective noise measurements were made to assess real noise levels in the preschool environment. Data from 155 respondents and objective measurements of 37 preschool classrooms were obtained. The results showed that the average 8-h noise exposure among Riga preschool educational institutions was 70 dB(A), which did not exceed the Latvian work environment noise limits, but exceeded the 35-40 dB(A) noise limit in the educational environment guidelines recommended by the WHO. The survey results showed that loud noise is one of the most important workplace environmental factors (~70% of respondents feel a necessity to increase voice because of noise). A constant feeling of fatigue, headache, irritable feeling, and a desire to isolate oneself from others more often occurred in respondents exposed to increased noise, compared with those who noted that they were not exposed to increased noise. In general, loud noise was associated with increased subjective health complaints in preschool education institution personnel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-307
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Latvian Academy of Sciences, Section B: Natural, Exact, and Applied Sciences
Volume70
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016

Keywords

  • health complaints
  • noise
  • preschool personnel

Field of Science

  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database

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