Scand J Work Environ Health 1981;7 suppl 4:48-53    pdf

Behavioral changes after long-term exposure to organic solvents and their mixtures: determining factors and research results.

by Lindström K

This presentation summarizes the characteristics determining the psychological end state after long-term solvent exposure. It also presents the results of research on changes in psychological functions after long-term solvent exposure. Such factors as differential vulnerability and environmental influences other than solvent exposure at work and elsewhere affect the end state. The results of five different Finnish studies are summarized. These studies concerned workers with solvent poisoning, car painters exposed to solvent mixtures, rayon viscose workers exposed to carbon disulfide, printers exposed to toluene, and laminators exposed to styrene. Intellectual functions, short-term memory, and sensory and motor functions were inspected. Verbal intelligence was lowered only in cases of intoxication and exposure to mixtures of organic solvents. Visuoconstructive abilities were deteriorated in those groups with verbal intelligence deterioration, and also among both rayon viscose workers with solvent poisoning and car painters. The group exposed to styrene showed functional changes only in visuomotor accuracy. Lowered manual or finger dexterity was found among workers exposed to carbon disulfide, workers with solvent poisoning, and car painters. The most disturbances were accumulated among those exposed to mixtures of organic solvents.