Scand J Work Environ Health 1978;4 suppl 2:196-199    pdf | Issue date: 1978

Alcohol consumption and tolerance of workers exposed to styrene in relation to level of exposure and psychological symptoms and signs.

by Lindström K, Härkönen H, Mantere P

A group of 98 male workers occupationally exposed to styrene was interviewed for information on the amount and frequency of alcohol consumption and changes in consumption frequency and tolerance. Alcohol consumption and changes in consumption were not compared to any reference data, but the changes in tolerance were. The styrene-exposed workers revealed a lowered tolerance somewhat more often than the unexposed group. Neither the duration nor the intensity of styrene exposure was related to any of the alcohol "behavior" variables. The amount of over-time work in exposure had a slight relationship to high alcohol consumption, but the interpretation of this relationship remains undecided. Subjective symptoms, like hand tremor and difficulties in staying asleep, were associated with the alcohol "behavior" variables, but these two symptoms were unrelated to intensity of styrene exposure. Of the psychological functions studied, lowered visuomotor speed showed a slight relationship to high alcohol consumption. Visuomotor inaccuracy, which had proved to be related to a high intensity of styrene exposure, revealed no connection with the alcohol "behavior" variables. It was concluded that alcohol consumption among styrene-exposed workers is not related to the same psychological symptoms and signs as styrene exposure.