Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1987;13(6):527-528    pdf


Exposure to fluorocarbons during the filling and repair of air-conditioning systems in cars--a case report.

by Astrom T, Jonsson A, Jarvholm B

A worker exposed to fluorocarbons in an automobile plant for seven years experienced shortness of breath (in 1977) and was referred to the hospital. The clinical examination revealed electrocardiographic abnormalities. He recovered quickly and returned to work. During the following year (1978) he suffered subarachnoid bleeding with hemiparesis, and four years later he had an operation for a thymoma. Hygienic measurements in 1980-1981 showed large variations in the fluorocarbon concentrations in the plant, the average 8-h concentrations being below the occupational exposure limit of 500 ppm but several short-time measurements reaching levels of over 750 ppm. It was suggested that, persons with heart disease do not necessarily have to be removed from work with fluorocarbons without careful review of the exposure but that the evaluation of the exposure should not only be based on time-weighted average concentrations, but also on values for brief periods, in that such concentrations can often be decreased by simple and cheap measures.