Workers in New York may face a surprising source of health risks on the job, especially for those working in the manufacturing, construction and mining industries. Loud noise in the workplace is associated with heart disease, according to research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In fact, people who are regularly exposed to noisy environments on the job can be at risk for developing high cholesterol or high blood pressure, both of which pose a significant risk for the development of cardiovascular disease. These findings are especially concerning since heart disease is the leading killer of people across the United States.

While many people know that hearing loss is a potential risk of repeated exposure to loud noises, the danger extends beyond the ears. Around 41 million people, a quarter of the country’s workforce, report regular exposure to loud, noisy environments on the job. Hearing loss, migraine headaches, reduced cognitive sensitivity and sleep issues are well-known side effects of noise exposure. However, taking care to protect workers’ ears from excessive noise can also play a bigger role in preventing occupational disease.

Of the millions of workers who are exposed to loud sounds at work, researchers discovered that 12 percent of them had hearing problems, 24 percent had high blood pressure and another 28 percent had high cholesterol levels. The researchers determined that 9 percent of the high cholesterol levels, 14 percent of the high blood pressure cases and 58 percent of the hearing problems were caused by the effects of loud workplace noise.

Noise is only one of the many dangers that individuals may face at work. Some may have to deal with toxic chemicals and malfunctioning or dangerous equipment. People who have developed work-related injuries or occupational diseases after years of exposure to noise or other damaging elements on the job can work with a workers’ compensation attorney to protect their rights and seek damages for their losses.