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Effects of acute exposure of toluene and methyl ethyl ketone on psychomotor performance.
Dick RB; Setzer JV; Wait R; Hayden MB; Taylor BJ; Tolos B; Putz-Anderson V
Int Arch Occup Environ Health 1984 Jul; 54(2):91-109
The effects of acute exposure to toluene (108883) and methyl-ethyl- ketone (78933) (MEK) singly and in combination were investigated. A total of 144 volunteers was exposed to 100 parts per million (ppm) toluene, 200ppm MEK, or 50ppm toluene combined with 100ppm MEK for 4 hours, or given 0.80 milliliters per kilogram ethanol (64175). Placebo groups were exposed for 2 minutes to 25ppm of the chemicals. Ethanol placebos contained no alcohol. The effects of these chemicals on behavior and body burden were determined. Performance tests in pattern discrimination, choice reaction time, and visual/vigilance were administered before, during, and after exposure. Blood and breath tests were used to measure body burden. Samples were collected at the end of the preexposure period, during exposure, at the end of exposure, and 90 minutes after exposure. Concentration of ethanol in the breath was 98ppm 1 hour after consumption and dropped to 67ppm after 3 hours. Blood alcohol content taken 2 hours after consumption was 77.5 milligrams (mg) percent and decreased over 5 hours to 42.1mg percent. Ethanol significantly affected the visual/vigilance and choice reaction time performances. Toluene caused a small but significant impairment in visual/vigilance task performance. MEK had no effect on any measures. Behavior performance was not affected by the combination of toluene and MEK. Body burden of the two solvents in combination was not additive. The authors conclude that neither chemical potentiated the effect of the other at the concentrations studied. Their effects are probably not additive.
NIOSH-Author; Industrial-chemicals; Solvents; Medical-research; Humans; Toxic-vapors; Biological-effects; Quantitative-analysis; Behavioral-testing; Synergism; Drug-interaction; Comparative-toxicology
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Issue of Publication
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Page last reviewed: November 6, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division