Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1994;20(1):1-12    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.1435 | Issue date: 01 Feb 1994

Methodological approach to the evaluation of neurotoxicity data and the classification of neurotoxic chemicals.

by Simonsen L, Johnsen H, Lund SP, Matikainen E, Midtgard U, Wennberg A

This text is the result of the authors' involvement in a working group on criteria for the identification and classification of neurotoxic chemicals. (The work of the group does not necessarily represent the official stand of the affiliated institutes.) A definition of neurotoxicity and criteria for evaluating studies dealing with neurotoxicology are presented. The evaluation is a stepwise process that ends with assigning the chemicals to groups depending on the available evidence for neurotoxicity (ie, neurotoxic, probably neurotoxic, possibly neurotoxic, probably not neurotoxic, or not classifiable). Finally, the description of the potency of neurotoxic chemicals is briefly discussed. The model has been tested by evaluating selected research papers on the following 10 chemicals: manganese, aluminum, tetrahydrofuran, cyclohexanone, dichlorvos, trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, tri-ortho-cresyl phosphate, n-hexane, and vinyl chloride. There was sufficient evidence for classifying five of the ten chemicals (aluminum, manganese, n-hexane, trichloroethylene, tri-ortho-cresyl phosphate) as definitely neurotoxic to humans, and three were considered to be possibly neurotoxic to humans (dichlorvos, tetrahydrofuran, vinyl chloride). Cyclohexanone and formaldehyde were not classifiable according to the model.