Effects of Earplugs on Catecholamine and Cortisol Excretion in Noise-Exposed Textile Workers
To investigate physiological and psychological effects of industrial noise, a survey was performed on 50 female workers exposed to machinery noise [93-100 dB(A)] (noise group) and 25 female workers in less-noisy environments [71-75 dB(A)] (control group) in a textile factory in Vietnam. Urine was collected for analysis of catecholamines and cortisol. The subjects were also asked to fill out a questionnaire. Each subject was examined over 2 working days. The workers in the noise group were asked
... se group were asked to put earplugs in their ears during the working hours of the 2nd day. On the 1st day without earplugs, urinary excretion of catecholamines in the noise group were greater than those in the control group. Cortisol in urine showed a similar tendency. Differences in catecholamine excretion between the noise group and the control group decreased on the 2nd day when the earplugs were used for attenuation of noise level in the noise group. Frequency of subjective fatigue symptoms was lower on the 2nd day than that on the 1st day in the noise group, while the control group showed almost no day-difference. The results indicate that the catecholamine response to noise in workers was reduced through the use of earplugs.