Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1980;6(3):206-215    pdf


Study of some hepatic effects (induction and toxicity) caused by occupational exposure to styrene in the polyester industry.

by Hotz P, Guillemin MP, Lob M

This study describes an occupational health survey carried out in the polyester industry in order to investigate the hepatic effects caused by exposure to styrene. Fifty-seven workers underwent a medical examination. They were submitted to blood and urine sampling for the determination of the degree of exposure, by the analysis of urinary mandelic and phenylglyoxylic acids (styrene metabolites), and the intensity of induction and/or hepatic effects, by the analysis of urinary glucaric acid and plasma enzyme activities (gamma glutamyl transferase, ornithine carbamoyl transferase, alanine aminotransferase, and aspartate aminotransferase). The results showed that styrene does not give rise to measurable autoinduction. With regard to the hepatic tests, exposure to styrene caused an increase in the plasma enzyme activities, a phenomenon illustrating a possible damaging effect on liver cells. This effect appears with exposure below 100 ppm (time-weighted average).