Cadmium and lead linked to hearing loss in U.S. adults.
Low levels of lead and cadmium may contribute to hearing loss, according to a large study of U.S. adults. Hearing loss was seen at metal concentrations common in the general population and below current workplace standards. Hearing ability dropped about 14 to 19 percent.
Loud noise can harm hearing but two common metals – lead and cadmium – may have a similar effect, according to a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives.
This study is unique because it links hearing loss and low-level exposures to lead and cadmium in a large sample of men and women in the United States. It is also the first to report cadmium’s effects on hearing in adults.
This article originally appeared in the February 2013 issue of Environmental Health News.