Center for Nutrition and Toxicology, Department of Biosciences, Karolinska Institute, Novum, S-141 57 Huddinge and Department of Molecular Genome Research, Stockholm University, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden. kamila.plna2cnt.ki.se
Epichlorohydrin (ECH) is a simple 3-carbon epoxide of industrial importance. It has been shown to be genotoxic in several systems and carcinogenic in experimental animals. The aim of the present investigation was to study DNA adducts of ECH as a biomarker of occupational exposure to this chemical. 7-(3-Chloro-2-hydroxypropyl)guanine (7-CHP-guanine) was analysed in DNA from white blood cells using an anion exchange-based adduct enrichment protocol of the (32)P-post-labelling/HPLC-based assay. Blood samples were collected from seven workers handling ECH (exposed), nine workers not handling ECH but normally present in the premises where this chemical is used (potentially exposed) and 13 office and factory workers from locations in the plant where ECH is not handled (controls). 7-CHP-guanine was detected in five of the seven workers exposed to ECH (1.6-7.1 mol/10(9) mol nucleotides) and in two of the nine workers potentially exposed to ECH (0.8-1.5 mol/10(9) mol nucleotides). This adduct was not detected in any of the 13 controls. The difference in adduct levels between exposed workers and controls was statistically significant (Mann-Whitney test, P
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to identify possible health effects caused by different cleaning agents used in graffiti removal. METHODS: In 38 graffiti removers working 8-h shifts in the Stockholm underground system, the exposure to organic solvents was assessed by active air sampling, biological monitoring, and by interviews and a questionnaire. Health effects were registered, by physical examinations, porta7ble spirometers and self-administered questionnaires. The prevalence of symptoms was compared with 49 controls working at the underground depots, and with 177 population controls. RESULTS: The 8-h time-weighted average exposures (TWA) were low, below 20% of the Swedish permissible exposure limit value (PEL) for all solvents. The short-term exposures occasionally exceeded the Swedish short-term exposure limit values (STEL), especially during work in poorly ventilated spaces, e.g. in elevators. The graffiti removers reported significantly higher prevalence of tiredness and upper airway symptoms compared with the depot controls, and significantly more tiredness, headaches and symptoms affecting airways, eyes and skin than the population controls. Among the graffiti removers, some of the symptoms increased during the working day. On a group basis, the lung function registrations showed normal values. However, seven workers displayed a clear reduction of peak expiratory flow (PEF) over the working shift. CONCLUSIONS: Though their average exposure to organic solvents was low, the graffiti removers reported significantly higher prevalence of unspecific symptoms such as fatigue and headache as well as irritative symptoms from the eyes and respiratory tract, compared with the controls. To prevent adverse health effects it is important to inform the workers about the health risks, and to restrict use of the most hazardous chemicals. Furthermore, it is important to develop good working practices and to encourage the use of personal protective equipment.
OBJECTIVES: The effects of occupational and leisure-time exposures on the risk of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) were investigated with emphasis on clonal chromosome aberrations (CCA) and morphological subtypes. METHODS: Consecutively diagnosed cases of AML (N=333) and 1 population referent per case were retrospectively included in the study. Information on worktasks, companies, and leisure-time activities was obtained with telephone interviews. Exposure probability and intensity were assessed by occupational hygienists. Associations were evaluated with logistic regression. RESULTS: Exposure to organic solvents was associated with an increased risk of AML [low exposure: OR 1.5 (95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.0-2.3, moderate-high exposure: OR 2.3 (95% CI 1.0-5.0)]. For exposure to solvents, but not to benzene, the OR was 1.2 (95% CI 0.69-2.0) for "low" and 2.7 (95% CI 1.0-7.3) for "moderate-high" exposure. The observed effects increased with intensity and duration of exposure. The estimated effects were higher for patients >60 years of age at the time of diagnosis. The effect of exposure to organic solvents was not differential with regard to morphology [except possibly erythroleukemia: OR 4.2, 95% CI 1.0-17 or the presence of CCA in general]. No increased risk for AML with complex CCA or with total or partial losses of chromosomes 5 or 7 were observed, but a higher risk was found for AML with trisomy 8 (OR 11, 95% CI 2.7-42) as the sole aberration. CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to organic solvents was associated with an increased risk of AML. This association was not due to benzene exposure alone and may be modified by age. Furthermore, specific associations with trisomy 8, and possibly also erythroleukemia, were suggested.
BACKGROUND: Laboratory work may constitute a possible health hazard for workers as well as for their offspring, and involves a wide range of exposures, such as organic solvents, carcinogenic agents, ionizing radiation, and/or microbiological agents. Adverse pregnancy outcomes in the offspring of male employees in biomedical research laboratories are examined. METHODS: Offspring to males employed 1970-1989 at four Swedish universities were identified via the Medical Birth Register (MBR), along with other pregnancy parameters. Offspring of fathers with laboratory work (n = 2,281) is considered exposed, and of non-laboratory employees unexposed (n = 1,909). Exposure data were obtained by questionnaires to research group leaders. Logistic regression analysis estimated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). RESULTS: Paternal laboratory work in general showed no statistically significant increased ORs concerning birth weight and/or gestational age, but work specifically with radioactive isotopes gave OR 1.8 (CI 1.0-3.2) for high birth weight and a relative risk of 1.2 (CI 1.0-1.4) for sex ratio (male/female). CONCLUSIONS: There was no clear association between periconceptional paternal laboratory work and adverse reproductive outcomes, but use of radioactive isotopes showed increased OR for high birth weight in offspring.
OBJECTIVES: To investigate a broad range of occupational, hobby, and lifestyle exposures, suggested as risk factors for Philadelphia chromosome positive (Ph+) chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML). METHODS: A case-control study, comprising 255 Ph+CML patients from southern Sweden and matched controls, was conducted. Individual data on work tasks, hobbies, and lifestyle exposures were obtained by telephone interviews. Occupational hygienists assessed occupational and hobby exposures for each subject individually. Also, occupational titles were obtained from national registries, and group level exposure-that is, the exposure proportion for each occupational title-was assessed with a job exposure matrix. The effects of 11 exposures using individual data and two exposures using group data (organic solvents and animal dust) were estimated. RESULTS: For the individual data on organic solvents, an effect was found for moderate or high intensity of exposure (odds ratio (OR) 3.4, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.1 to 11) and for long duration (15-20 years) of exposure (OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.1 to 4.0). By contrast, the group data showed no association (OR 0.69, 95% CI 0.27 to 1.8; moderate or high intensity versus no exposure). For extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs), only individual data were available. An association with long occupational exposure to EMFs was found (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.2 to 4.5). However, no effect of EMF intensity was indicated. No significant effects of benzene, gasoline or diesel, or tobacco smoking were found. OR estimates below unity were suggested for personal use of hair dye and for agricultural exposures. CONCLUSIONS: Associations between exposure to organic solvents and EMFs, and Ph+CML were indicated but were not entirely consistent.
The behavioral effects of long-term exposure to a mixture of organic solvents were investigated in a comparison of the test results of 100 car painters with those of a reference group. The test battery included tests for intelligence, memory, psychomotor performances, and personality. In addition to the comparison of the mean results, two discriminant function analyses were made. In one, only the performance test variables were used, but in the other personality variables were also included. The results indicated impairments in psychological performances, as well as personality changes in the exposed group. Impairments in visual intelligence and verbal memory and a reduction of emotional reactivity were the central features of the adverse effects of solvent exposure, but the behavioral disturbances also involved several other functions, including performance on a verbal intelligence test. The possible role of the differences in the initial intelligence levels were controlled with a separate comparison of the test results of 33 pairs of exposed and nonexposed subjects who were matched for age and for their intelligence level, measured during the military service. The discriminant function analyses were based on the results of these matched subgroups and tested in the rest of the material. According to the results the sensitivity of the psychological test methods was high, but the specificity somewhat low, with regard to solvent exposure. The concentration of various solvents included in the exposure of car painters were low, the summated exposure corresponding corresponding to 32% of the Finnish threshold limit value. The possible role of a potentiating effect of the solvent in the development of behavioral disturbances is discussed.
BACKGROUND: Breast cancer is the most common tumor among women, and the causes remain almost unknown apart from changes in the reproductive pattern. Based on experimental evidence, some organic solvents may have carcinogenic properties to the female breast. METHODS: We used a comprehensive national data linkage to examine the adjusted breast cancer risk among relatively young (20-55 years) Danish women employed in industries with extensive use of organic solvents (i.e., the metal product, wood and furniture, printing, chemical, and textile and clothing industries). Relative risks (OR) were estimated from a matched case-control study on 7,802 women with breast cancer (1970-1989). Potential exposure to organic solvents was accessed from the duration of employment within the selected industries and reconstructed from the files of a nationwide compulsory pension fund. Socioeconomic status and the individual reproductive pattern were obtained from the central person registry. RESULTS: The adjusted OR for breast cancer after 15 years latency was increased in each of the selected industrial groups (from 1.4 to 2.4). For the entire group with over 10 years of employment, the OR was significantly elevated (twofold). CONCLUSIONS: This study supports the observation that long-term occupational exposure to organic solvents may play a role in breast cancer risk. However, some residual confounding may exist, and further studies are required to identify specific carcinogenic organic solvents.
To assess whether occupational exposure to aromatic hydrocarbons increases carcinogenic risk.
We followed cancer incidence among 3,922 male and 1,379 female workers monitored for exposure to styrene, toluene, or xylene. The follow-up after the first personal measurement comprised 66,500 person-years at risk over the period 1973-1992. We computed the indirectly standardized incidence ratios (SIR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) with regard to age-, gender-, and period-specific incidence rates of cancer in the Finnish general population.
The overall rate of cancer incidence for the total cohort was fairly similar to that of the general population. The risk for nervous system tumors was increased at 10 years after the first personal measurement (SIR 2.80, CI 1.03-6.08). For styrene there was an excess risk for rectal cancer (SIR 3.11, CI 1.14-6.77), and risks for pancreatic and nervous system tumors were increased nonsignificantly. For toluene and xylene, no clear increase in cancer risk was found.
The data are not supportive of an overall increase in the cancer risk for these solvents, even though we cannot rule out site-specific associations with the rectum, pancreas, and nervous system. There is supporting evidence in the epidemiology literature for pancreatic cancer risk and heavy exposure to styrene. More studies are warranted on solvents, with detailed information on lifetime exposures and habits being collected whenever possible.