Follow-up Examinations for Occular Neoplasms and Pigmented Ocular Lesions, at the Dupont, West Virginia Plant.
Active and retired workers at the duPont Belle chemicals facility in West Virginia were ophthalmologically surveyed first in 1978 and again in 1979 in a follow-up study to identify cases of ocular neoplasms and determine the prevalence of ocular pigmented lesions. The workers were compared to individuals without occupational exposure to chemicals. A total of 1,149 patients were examined in 1978 of whom 591, 256 and 302 were active facility employees, retired facility employees, and nonindustrial worker participants, respectively. No choroidal melanomas were observed in the comparison populations. The prevalence of participants with conjunctival nevi, iris nevi, and chordal nevi amounted to 0.9 and and nonindustrial workers, respectively. In 1979, populations for re-examination were selected from all individuals having positive eye findings during the 1978 study. In the facility population, one patient with a suspected choroidal melanoma had evidence of size and color change since 1978. One other patient with choroidal nevi was suspected of having size and color change. In the comparison population, two patients had size or color change in choroidal nevi. Choroidal nevi in three patients in the facility group were not documented in 1978; two such lesions were found in the comparison group. Eight facility workers had iris nevi, which was not observed in 1978. In the control population, iris nevi not previously described were found in five patients. Many patients from the facility group and the comparison population with elevated pressure continued to have abnormal pressure. The author concludes that the patients with elevated intraocular pressure risk loss of vision and he recommends follow up examinations to maintain these pressures within safe limits.
Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston Massachusetts, NIOSH