Exposure to certain toxic chemicals can irreparably damage your hearing. A combination of loud noises and ototoxic chemicals could cause hearing and balance loss. Even if workers are exposed to recommended levels, these two elements combined can do more damage than just exposure to noise or chemicals.
How Ototoxic Chemicals Damage Hearing
Ototoxic chemicals are so corrosive that they can penetrate and travel through the skin and be inhaled into the body. Once they enter the bloodstream, they travel to the ear, where they are absorbed by the hearing nerve and damage the cells of the hair in the inner ear. Besides hearing loss, this also results in balance issues.
Unlike other industrial chemicals, ototoxic chemicals can do large-scale damage to the inner ear and kidneys. That’s because these organs originate from the same germ layer during development. Even though kidney issues from these chemicals are rare, certain complications can result if exposed to them.
Some of the ototoxic chemicals that can cause hearing loss and kidney issues include aliphatic and benzene-based hydrocarbons, such as n-hexane, as well as carbon disulfide. You can also be exposed to these harmful agents if you handle phosphate for gardening, farming and industrial agricultural purposes.
Besides these, exposure to certain metals such as lead, arsenic, manganese and mercury can also lead to ototoxic chemical poisoning. These heavy metals can attack the nerves that pass along signals from the brain to the ear. With prolonged exposure to these metals, those pathways can get irreparably damaged, leading to hearing loss, not to mention massive brain damage. The lawsuits that can result from this can bring even a successful business to its knees.
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