Skip Navigation LinksHome > September 2013 - Volume 55 - Issue 9 > Ethylbenzene-Induced Hearing Loss, Neurobehavioral Function,...
Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31829f3142
Original Articles

Ethylbenzene-Induced Hearing Loss, Neurobehavioral Function, and Neurotransmitter Alterations in Petrochemical Workers

Zhang, Ming MD; Wang, Yanrang MD; Wang, Qian MD; Yang, Deyi MD; Zhang, Jingshu MD; Wang, Fengshan MD; Gu, Qing MD

Supplemental Author Material
Continued Medical Education
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Abstract

Objective: To estimate hearing loss, neurobehavioral function, and neurotransmitter alteration induced by ethylbenzene in petrochemical workers.

Methods: From two petrochemical plants, 246 and 307 workers exposed to both ethylbenzene and noise were recruited—290 workers exposed to noise only from a power station plant and 327 office personnel as control group, respectively. Hearing and neurobehavioral functions were evaluated. Serum neurotransmitters were also determined.

Results: The prevalence of hearing loss was much higher in petrochemical groups than that in power station and control groups (P < 0.05). Compared with the control group, scores of neurobehavioral function reflecting learning and memory were decreased in petrochemical workers (P < 0.05), as well as acetylcholinesterase activity. Negative correlation was shown between neurobehavioral function and acetylcholinesterase.

Conclusions: Ethylbenzene exposure might be associated with hearing loss, neurobehavioral function impairment, and imbalance of neurotransmitters.

Copyright © 2013 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

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