Noise-Induced Hearing Loss among Workers at the Kotoka International Airport

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September, 2011
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ABSTRACT Occupational noise exposure is a common cause of noise-induced hearing loss in airports across the world. Excessive noise exposure is harmful to the ears and hearing abilities of workers at the airports as well as people who reside in households close to the airport. This study investigated the prevalence of noise induced hearing loss among workers in and around the Kotoka International Airport using the NM 102 noise meter. Thirty (30) persons were also taken through audiometric and otoscopic examinations, where their hearing acuity was tested to check the effect of exposure to the excessive aircraft noise at the Airport Clinic and Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital respectively. The average noise level at the Kotoka International Airport of 74 dB (A) exceeds the acceptable EPA noise level of 70 dB and the level of noise generated by aircrafts during the day and night also exceeds the standard EPA noise level at 82.66 dB (A). Workers at the airport as well as persons living close to the airport suffer from noise induced hearing loss regardless of the number of years they have been exposed to aircraft noise. Modern and efficient ear-plugs should be provided for workers at the airports who work close to the aircraft and the wearing of ear-plugs should be made mandatory by the Ghana Airports Company and sanctions leveled at persons who flout such directive. The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, The Ghana Airports Company and other aviation stakeholders together with the local authorities must commit to ensuring that the noise effects of aircraft on local communities under flight paths are within set limits by the EPA,2011
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Environmental Science, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Master of Science in Environmental Science