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Development of multiple chemical sensitivities in laborers after acute gasoline fume exposure in an underground tunneling operation.

Authors
Davidoff-AL; Keyl-PM; Meggs-W
Source
Arch Environ Health 1998 May-Jun; 53(3):183-189
NIOSHTIC No.
20030542
Abstract
In this article, investigators report on the presence and nature of chemical sensitivities and other indices of illness in a cohort of workers excavating a new subway tunnel located under a former gasoline station. The workers were exposed to gasoline fumes for up to approximately 2 mo when they inadvertently dug into soil contaminated by gasoline. The cohort was unique in several ways: (a) contact with gasoline was made by the workers at a time when no one had complained of multiple chemical sensitivities syndrome; (b) all were males of low socioeconomic status; (c) the exposure was well documented; (d) the cohort could be considered "naive" because, at the time of the study, the men were not members of support groups and were not being seen by clinical ecologists, and they were not labeled, either by self or others, as having multiple chemical sensitivities syndrome or any related diagnosis; and (e) at the time of interview, all workers we contacted appeared to be either gainfully employed or laid off temporarily and seeking gainful employment. We explored the health status of the workers at two different times: (1) soon after the tunnel was closed as a result of high, measured benzene-exposure levels and (2) 10-13 mo after the tunnel was closed. The workers were chronically overexposed to gasoline fumes, after which approximately one-fourth (26.7%) of our random sample of relatively naive, low-socioeconomic-status male laborers-although neither disabled nor generally litigious-reported the new onset of chemical hypersensitivities and other characteristics that fit conservative criteria for multiple chemical sensitivities syndrome.
Keywords
Acute-exposure; Gases; Organic-chemicals; Case-studies; Solvents; Organic-solvents; Workers; Worker-health; Occupational-exposure; Pesticides; Pesticides-and-agricultural-chemicals; Occupational-health; Occupational-hazards; Health-hazards; Occupational-diseases; Organo-phosphorus-pesticides; Diseases
CODEN
AEHLAU
Publication Date
19980501
Document Type
Journal Article
Funding Amount
1908835
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
1998
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-T42-OH-007090
Issue of Publication
3
ISSN
0003-9896
Source Name
Archives of Environmental Health
State
MD
Performing Organization
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
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