Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1993;19(4):236-244    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.1478

Solvent exposure, alcohol consumption and liver injury in workers manufacturing paint.

by Rees D, Soderlund N, Cronje R, Song E, Kielkowski D, Myers J

Liver enzyme activity was examined in 89 South African paint makers currently exposed to a mixture of organic solvents at fairly low levels. However, the duration of exposure was substantial for many. Fifty-eight workers (65%) had at least one enzyme value above the upper reference limit. Gamma glutamyl transferase (gamma GT) activity was elevated in 46% of the workers and aspartate aminotransferase (ASAT) in 52%. In a comparison between workers with high and low solvent exposure, the gamma GT and ASAT values were higher in the most exposed group (eg, gamma GT mean 108 versus 69 U.l-1, P > 0.05). Adjustment for confounding by alcohol consumption and body mass index eliminated the differences due to exposure. It was concluded that the measures of liver injury used did not demonstrate solvent-induced hepatic damage but that excessive alcohol consumption was an important factor.