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Keywords:

  • organic solvents;
  • posturography;
  • cumulative exposure level;
  • neurotoxic effect;
  • biological monitoring

Abstract

Background

This study used static posturography to investigate the neurotoxic effects on workers exposed to mixed organic solvents at low concentrations under the levels of the threshold limit values (TLV).

Methods

Forty-one workers from four plants exposed to mixed solvents and 90 non-exposed referents were examined. The lifetime cumulative biological exposure (CE) was estimated according to subject's occupational history and biological monitoring results. Static posturography and questionnaire were the basis of data collection.

Results

The mean exposure index of mixed organic solvents of four plants was 0.47 (SD: 0.33, range: 0.08–1.39). The exposed group showed a larger sway area and length under the eye open condition than did the non-exposed group. In a multiple linear regression, a significant positive association was demonstrated between postural sway area and CE.

Conclusions

This study results suggest that the exposure to organic solvents under TLV levels may cause disturbance in postural stability. Am. J. Ind. Med. 52:429–437, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.