Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1977;3(1):16-22    pdf


A clinical, neurophysiological and behavioral study of female workers exposed to 1,1,1-trichloroethane.

by Maroni M, Bulgheroni C, Cassitto MG, Merluzzi F, Gilioli R, Foa´ V

Twenty-two female subjects working in a factory in which 1,1,1-trichloroethane was the only solvent used were investigated by means of clinical, neurophysiological and psychometric methods so that the neurotoxicity of the solvent could be evaluated. On the basis of the ambient air concentrations of 1,1,1-trichloroethane ranging from 110 to 990 ppm, the workers were divided into three risk groups and compared with a reference group. No significant difference was observed between the exposed and unexposed females with respect to clinical features, maximal motor conduction velocity, conduction velocity of slow fibers, and psychometric data. The most frequent complaints of the workers were of the "neurotic" type with a slightly higher, but not significant, difference in the exposed group. The results obtained favor the absence of a manifest neurotoxic effect of 1,1,1-trichloroethane under the specific work conditions of the investigation; generally unfavorable work conditions seem to have played a prominent role in the genesis of the neurotic complaints. The importance of a global methodological approach in the study of work-related risks, particularly in neurological and psychological surveys, is stressed.