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Balance System Assessment in Workers Exposed to Organic Solvent Mixture

Zamyslowska-Szmytke, Ewa MD, PhD; Politanski, Piotr MSc; Sliwinska-Kowalska, Mariola MD, PhD

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182143f46
Original Articles
Abstract

Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the balance and vestibular systems in healthy workers exposed to low concentrations of organic solvent mixtures.

Methods: The study groups comprised 60 workers exposed to mixture of organic solvents and 110 reference workers. All subjects performed static posturography and electronystagmography (ENG).

Results: In posturography, abnormal reaction time was more frequent and statistically longer in solvent-exposed group. Also, worse results of movement coordination parameters were observed in this group. The ENG square waves and abnormal optokinetic results were more common in exposed group. Mean caloric response was shorter in the exposed group. Negative relationship was found between time of caloric response and cumulative toluene concentration.

Conclusions: Balance abnormalities in solvent-exposed workers indicated subclinical damage, mainly of central part of vestibular system and body-movement coordination. It would not be reasonable to exclude the vestibular hyporeactivity.

Author Information

From the Department of Audiology and Phoniatrics (Drs Zamyslowska-Szmytke and Sliwinska-Kowalska) and Department of Radiation Protection (Mr Politanski), Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Lodz, Poland.

Address correspondence to: Ewa Zamyslowska-Szmytke, MD, PhD, Department of Audiology and Phoniatrics, Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, St Therese str N 8, 91-348, Lodz, Poland; zamysewa@imp.lodz.pl.

©2011The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine