Protecting Puerto Rico's Workers from Exposure to Ototoxicants and Other Hazardous Substances



In March of this year, The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published Preventing Hearing Loss Caused by Chemical (Ototoxicity) and Noise Exposure.

The advisory bulletin shared information about protecting workers from exposure to certain chemicals, called ototoxicants, which may cause hearing loss or balance problems, regardless of noise exposure. It looks specifically at five ototoxic substance classes, including pharmaceuticals, solvents, asphyxiants, nitriles, and metals and compounds. These include chemicals that many people are not familiar with, such as n-hexane and carbon disulfide. However, many familiar ototoxic substances are also listed, including tobacco smoke, carbon monoxide, lead and mercury  compounds.

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