Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1982;8 suppl 1:131-135    pdf

Neurophysiological findings among house painters exposed to solvents.

by Seppalainen AM, Lindstrom K

Seventy-two male house painters in maintenance work (aged from 35 to 44 a) with a mean of 20.2 a of painting experience were submitted to electroencephalographic (EEG) and electroneurographic examinations; 77 concrete reinforcement workers of similar ages served as the referents. The average long-term exposure level of the painters corresponded to 40 cm3/m3 of white spirit. Altogether six motor conduction velocities and seven sensory conduction velocities were measured for each subject. The frequency of abnormal EEGs among the painters was similar to that found for a normal population or for the referents, namely, 15% of the painters showed a mild and 1% a moderately severe EEG abnormality. The means of the nerve conduction velocities were similar among the painters and referents and also close to the means of the normal material of the laboratory. Slightly slowed nerve conduction velocities suggestive of peripheral nerve dysfunction were found in 20% of both the painters and the referents. This exposure level did not affect the EEG noticeably. A few subjects with abnormally slow nerve conduction velocities may have been affected by occupational factors, either chemical or physical, but the solvent-exposed workers did not differ from their referents in this regard.