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‘Fine dust can cause hearing impairment’
  • By Lee Han-soo
  • Published 2019.11.19 18:07
  • Updated 2019.11.19 18:07
  • comments 0

Researchers at Korea University Ansan Hospital have discovered that that the risk of hearing loss due to auditory hair cell damage increased by up to 28 percent in the group exposed to fine dust.

Professor Choi Joon

The team conducted the study by experiments using zebrafish, which has a gene similar to that of humans. After exposing various concentrations of fine dust in the zebrafish at an embryonic state, the team observed hair cell damage in different periods.

After a week, the group exposed to fine dust for 10 days had up to 28 percent damage in their hair cell compared to the comparison group’s 13 percent. The hair cell’s function is to transmit sound information to the brain. If hair cells are damaged, hearing loss due to deafness occurs. Also, as hair cells are unrepairable, it is a body organ that requires special care.

“The experiment is significant as it is a study that revealed the fine dust could damage important sensory organs of the human body,” the team said.

Professor Choi Joon also said, “In recent years, fine dust has attracted much attention from the public, and much research has been conducted on its effects on each part of the human body. The study proved that fine dust could cause hearing loss.”

In addition to hearing, the zebrafish study also observed problems such as decreased heart rate, which requires further studies, Choi added.


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