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Industrial deafness » Ototoxic chemicals


There are thousands of people in the UK who could make an industrial deafness claim after having been exposed to high levels of noise in the workplace. It is estimated that there could be as many as half a million people who now suffer tinnitus or hearing loss as a result of noise at work.

Chemicals and deafness

It is a little-known fact that certain chemicals, which can sometimes take the form of medication, can be partly responsible for causing deafness. Known as ototoxic (literally toxic to the ear) chemicals, these can make it much more likely that anyone who ingests them will suffer damage to their hearing. Some forms of antibiotics, such as streptomyecin, have this effect, as can quinine or aspirin (in large quantities).

However, as well as the type of chemicals which you might take as medication, other substances you may come across in the workplace might also put you at risk of sustaining industrial deafness. Certain solvents, including benzene, butanol and trichloroethylene, can cause this damage, as can a range of metals, such as cobalt, lead, mercury and lithium.

The ototoxic qualities of these substances can vary. Some will damage the hairs within the ear on their own, whilst others only cause this damage when the person is exposed to loud noise. In the latter case, the connection between the chemical and noise is known as a synergistic relationship.

Any workplace in which workers are exposed to high noise levels should take the proper precautions to protect employees from hearing loss and tinnitus. However, it is even more important for safety measures to be put in place if ototoxic substances are present or if any workers are taking ototoxic medication.

Could you make an industrial deafness claim?

If you are one of the thousands of people affected by hearing loss as a result of a noisy work environment, we may well be able to assist you in an industrial deafness claim.

Our extensive panel of experienced personal injury solicitors allows us to match you with a no win, no fee lawyer who has experience in industrial deafness cases just like yours. All of our solicitors have an excellent success rate and are committed to doing what is best for you at all times.

Speak to our advisors by calling 01582 437070 and take your first step towards making an industrial deafness claim. Alternatively, you can leave a call-back request for a convenient time.