SJWEH Supplements are open access, (mostly) non-peer-reviewed articles usually published in theme issues or as part of a series of papers from a conference or workshop. Scand J Work Environ Health stopped publishing SJWEH Supplements in 2009.

Original article

SJWEH Supplements 2006;(no 2):54-60    pdf

Effect of industrial solvent exposure on blood pressure and liver ultrasound echogenicity

by Kaukiainen A, Martikainen R, Luoma K, Taskinen H, Helin K, Vehmas T

Objectives Industrial solvent exposure has been suggested to elevate blood pressure and to be associated with fatty liver disease. The mechanism of action is poorly known, as is the contribution of individual solvents.

Methods Twenty-six workers with long-term solvent exposure and 19 unexposed volunteers were recruited. A detailed exposure assessment was performed, blood pressure was measured, and liver ultrasound echogenicity was scored as a proxy for its fatty degeneration.

Results The mean values of systolic blood pressure of the study groups were within the normal range. Lifetime exposure was the decisive factor for blood pressure elevation when age, alcohol consumption, body mass index, gender, and smoking were controlled. The higher the alcohol consumption, the weaker the elevating effect of exposure on systolic blood pressure. Out of the solvent groups, exposure to white spirit and alcohols elevated systolic blood pressure significantly (P = 0.004 and P = 0.014, respectively) when exposed workers were compared with the unexposed workers and referents. The elevating effect remained, although it was not as significant, when analyses were restricted to the worker group (P=0.088 and P=0.104). Echogenicity was not an intermediate variable between exposure and blood pressure.

Conclusions Long-term exposure to solvents may have an elevating effect on blood pressure, mainly unrelated to liver fatty change, but weakened by alcohol use. These results are tentative and should be studied further.

This article refers to the following text of the Journal: 2004;30(6):421-423