OBJECTIVE: The principal aim of the study was to estimate the level of exposure to organic solvents of graffiti removers, and to identify the chemicals used in different cleaning agents. A secondary objective was to inform about the toxicity of various products and to optimise working procedures. METHODS: Exposure to organic solvents was determined by active air sampling and biological monitoring among 38 graffiti removers during an 8-h work shift in the Stockholm underground system. The air samples and biological samples were analysed by gas chromatography. Exposure to organic solvents was also assessed by a questionnaire and interviews. RESULTS: Solvents identified were N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP), dipropylene glycol monomethyl ether (DPGME), propylene glycol monomethyl ether (PGME), diethylene glycol monoethyl ether (DEGEE), toluene, xylene, pseudocumene, hemimellitine, mesitylene, ethylbenzene, limonene, nonane, decane, undecane, hexandecane and gamma-butyrolactone. The 8-h average exposures [time-weighted average (TWA)] were below 20% of the Swedish permissible exposure limit value (PEL) for all solvents identified. In poorly ventilated spaces, e.g. in elevators etc., the short-term exposures exceeded occasionally the Swedish short-term exposure limit values (STEL). The blood and urine concentrations of NMP and its metabolites were low. Glycol ethers and their metabolites (2-methoxypropionic acid (MPA), ethoxy acetic acid (EAA), butoxy acetic acid (BAA), and 2-(2-methoxyethoxy) acetic acid (MEAA)) were found in low concentrations in urine. There were significant correlation between the concentrations of NMP in air and levels of NMP and its metabolites in blood and urine. The use of personal protective equipment, i.e. gloves and respirators, was generally high. CONCLUSIONS: Many different cleaning agents were used. The average exposure to solvents was low, but some working tasks included relatively high short-term exposure. To prevent adverse health effects, it is important to inform workers about the health risks and to restrict the use of the most toxic chemicals. Furthermore, it is important to develop good working procedures and to encourage the use of personal protection equipment.
BACKGROUND: Endosulfan has been used for over 50 years. Although most analogs have been discontinued, endosulfan has less environmental persistence. Nevertheless, pressure groups are lobbying for a worldwide ban. The reasons are: possible rodent male reproductive toxicity, other endocrine effects and cancer; human epidemiology, and exposure studies; residues appearing in remote areas of the world, e.g., the Arctic. METHODS: The endosulfan toxicology database is described and risks of its use assessed. RESULTS: Endosulfan is an antagonist at the GABA(A) receptor Cl(-) ionophore in mammalian CNS. Rat acute toxicity is moderate, LD(50)=48 (M) or 10 mg/kg/d (F), oral gavage; 130 (M), 70 mg/kg/d (F) dermal; LC(50)=34.5 microg/L (M), 12.6 microg/L (F), inhalation. Critical NOELs for risk assessment: acute oral (gavage)=0.7 mg/kg/d (rabbit developmental); Subchronic oral (diet)=1.2 mg/kg/d (rat reproduction); Chronic oral (diet)=0.6 mg/kg/d. There were no acceptable dermal toxicity studies. The critical acute and subchronic inhalation NOELs=0.001 mg/L, chronic inhalation=0.0001 mg/L (estimated). Toxicity to rat sperm occurred at doses causing neurotoxicity. Endocrine effects, resulting from P450 oxygenase(s) induction, were reversible. Increased cancer, genotoxicity, or histopathology in rodents was not observed in any organ. Possible effects on brain biogenic amine levels were probably secondary. CONCLUSIONS: Epidemiology and rodent studies suggesting autism and male reproductive toxicity are open to other interpretations. Developmental/ reproductive toxicity or endocrine disruption occurs only at doses causing neurotoxicity. Toxicity to the fetus or young animals is not more severe than that shown by adults.
The aims were to study the toxicokinetics of 5-hydroxy-N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (5-HNMP) in blood and urine after exposure to N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) and to study the suitability of 5-HNMP as a biomarker for assessing NMP exposure.
Six male volunteers were exposed for 8 hours to NMP concentrations of 0, 10, 25, and 50 mg/m3. Blood and urine were sampled before, during, and up to 40 hours after exposure. Aliquots of urine and plasma were purified, derivatized, and analyzed for 5-HNMP on a gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer in the electron impact mode.
The mean plasma concentration [P-(5-HNMP)] after 8-hour NMP exposure to 10, 25, and 50 mg/m3 was 8.0, 19.6, and 44.4 micromol/l, respectively. The mean urinary concentration [U-(5-HNMP)] for the 2 last hours of exposure was 17.7, 57.3, and 117.3 mmol/mol creatinine, respectively. The maximal P-(5-HNMP)and U-(5-HNMP) concentrations occurred 1 hour and 0-2 hours, respectively, after the exposure. The half-times of P-(5-HNMP) and U-(5-HNMP) were 6.3 and 7.3 hours, respectively. The 5-HNMP urinary concentrations were 58% of the calculated retained dose. There was a close correlation (r) between P-(5-HNMP) (r=0.98) and U-(5-HNMP) (r=0.97) with NMP exposure.
5-HNMP is an excellent biomarker for assessing exposure to NMP. Its plasma and urinary half-times (6-7 hours), the minimal risk for contamination during sampling in occupational settings, and the close correlation of P-(5-HNMP) and U-(5-HNMP) with NMP exposure makes 5-HNMP suitable for monitoring exposure to NMP. 5-HNMP in plasma is recommended.
In a two-year study of mothers of children with congenital central-nervous-system defects and their matched-pair controls, exposure to noxious influences during pregnancy was analysed. Information on exposure was gained by interviews with all the mothers, sometimes supplemented by visits to their places of work. Significantly more case-mothers than control-mothers had been exposed to organic solvents during the first trimester of pregnancy (p less than 0.01).
CHARGE association is a non-random collection of congenital anomalies. The condition is becoming more widely known to medical and educational professionals. The number of children diagnosed is increasing, probably because of the greater awareness of this condition. This paper considers some of the long-term management problems which are often deferred in the early months, when acute life threatening problems take priority. Questionnaires were sent to parents via the CHARGE Association Family Support Group, UK. Thirty-nine were returned and incomplete information was sought by personal contact or telephone. The majority of children were known professionally to one or both authors and information was therefore checked from medical and educational notes. There is still widespread misunderstanding about the impact of multiple disability, especially when this includes multi-sensory impairment, on the early development of the child. Therefore, the information collected from the study has been from an educational and medical perspective, thereby aiding the understanding of these complex problems. At the parents request, information was gathered about certain teratogens, of which Lindane, an organophosphate, is highlighted.