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Hashimoto Dean M. MD MOH; Kelsey, Karl T. MD, MOH; Seitz, Teresa MPH; Feldman, Henry A. PhD; Yakes, Barbara DO, MOH; Christiani, David C. MD, MPH
Journal of Occupational Medicine: April 1991
Original Article: PDF Only

To investigate the relationship between exposure to organio solvents and the presence of increased urinary cellular sediment, we conducted a cross-sectional study of 215 newspaper pressroom workers who were exposed to solvent and lubricant mixtures. Thirty-two compositors were surveyed as referents. Industrial hygiene measurements showed low-level airborne exposures to organic solvents (primarily naphthas) and minimal airborne exposure to glycol ethers. There was a high prevalence of solvent-related dermatitis indicating there was significant dermal exposure to these substances. Pressworkers were exposed to solvent mixtures that were associated with dose-related increases in leukocyturia alone or in urinary cellular sediment (erythrooyturia and/or leukocyturia). The presence of urinary cellular sediment was associated with increasing frequency of use of five particular organic solvent mixtures. These results suggest that the increase in urinary cellular sediment may be due, at least in part, to the effects of solvents on the kidney. Consistent with this hypothesis, 16% of pressmen and no compositors were found to have primarily low-grade albuminuria detectable by dipstick. Workers with urinary cellular sediment were significantly more likely to have detectable albuminuria. Albuminuria was more likely to occur with increased frequency of use of four particular solvent mixtures. The presence of urinary cellular sediment was less likely to occur with occasional use of analgesics suggesting a possible etiologic role for acute or chronic urinary tract inflammation.

©1991 The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine