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UP-NIH sets study on hearing, cardio health of MMDA traffic men at Edsa

The University of the Philippines Manila-National Institute of Health’s (UP-NIH) is set to conduct a study intended to determine the association of chronic traffic exposure to hearing loss wherein select field personnel of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will be the target participants.

The initiative was supported by the MMDA, noting that traffic enforcers work under punishing weather conditions.

MMDA Officer in Charge Engr. Baltazar Melgar also stressed that traffic enforcers are also exposed to health hazards such as traffic noise exposure and air pollution.

“It must be noted that MMDA traffic enforcers, classified as civilian uniformed personnel, are exposed to health hazards while performing their duties,” he said.

According to Melgar, the study will be led by Dr. Kim Ong of the UP-NIH and will be assisted by the MMDA Medical Clinic headed by Dr. Annabelle Ombina.

Select field personnel assigned at Edsa will undergo the screening process such as hearing test and in-depth interview.

“The screening process is expected to be done on the second week of August. Based on the criteria set by the UP-NIH, traffic enforcers must have a five-year field exposure experience, regardless of their employment status,” he further said.

Meanwhile, a recent study conducted by scientist Emmanuel Baja revealed that exposure to black carbon and heavy metals while on duty along the major thoroughfares of Metro Manila like Edsa where hundreds of thousands of vehicles traverse daily, affects traffic enforcers’ blood pressure and lung function.

The study likewise showed that lead found in enforcers’ blood could imply systemic inflammation and may also be linked to heart damage.

At present, there are almost 600 traffic enforcers assigned to man traffic along Edsa.

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