Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1976;2(3):152-164    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.2809

Long-term exposure to jet fuel: an investigation on occupationally exposed workers with special reference to the nervous system.

by Knave B, Persson HE, Goldberg JM, Westerholm P

In the present study the results of a neurological and neurophysiological health examination of 29 aircraft factory workers chronically exposed to jet fuel vapors are presented. The exposed subjects were classified into a heavily exposed and a less heavily exposed group. The examination included a standardized clinical neurological examination, measurements of the conduction velocities in the peripheral nerves, and threshold determinations of vibratory sensations in the extremities. All 13 persons examined in the heavily exposed group and 7 of the 16 in the less heavily exposed group stated that they had repeatedly experienced acute effects (dizziness, respiratory tract symptoms, heart palpitations, a feeling of pressure on the chest, nausea, headache) of the jet fuel vapors in the inhaled air. A high rate of symptoms indicative of neurasthenia and psychasthenia and symptoms and signs indicative of polyneuropathy was observed both in the heavily exposed group and in the two groups combined in comparison with reference groups. Considering the presented facts concerning (a) the acute effects on repeated occasions, (b) the high rates of symptoms indicative of neurasthenia and psychasthenia and symptoms and signs indicative of polyneuropathy, and (c) the differences in the observations made between the two groups with varying degrees of exposure to jet fuel, the authors interpreted the results as indicative of a possible effect of long-term exposure to jet fuel on the nervous system.