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Sensory thresholds among construction trade painters: a cross-sectional study using new methods for measuring temperature and vibration sensitivity.

Bove FJ; Letz R; Baker EL Jr.
J Occup Med 1989 Apr; 31(4):320-325
Painters who were exposed to mixed organic solvents were tested with the Temperature Sensitivity Tester (TST) (112 painters) and the Vibratron (55 painters) using a microcomputer based threshold estimation method. A comparison was made of sensory thresholds between the painters and a reference group composed of 105 healthy workers unexposed to neurotoxic substances. A possible relationship among painters determined by the degree of individual exposure was also sought. Painters had a significantly higher vibration thresholds as revealed through the Vibratron scores than the reference group, particularly in the older age strata. Painters also had significantly more temperature sensitivity thresholds classified as high than did the reference group. When examining only the painter group, those with exposure intensity and cumulative exposure over the past year were positively associated with vibration thresholds estimated using the Vibratron. A positive association was revealed between lifetime cumulative exposure, cumulative exposure over the previous month, and exposure intensity with vibration thresholds estimated using the Biothesiometer. Results from the quantitative sensory tests did not correlate with neurologic examination results for pin prick and light touch or with reported foot symptoms. These tests may have been detecting early, presymptomatic effects. A second explanation offered was that individual differences in labeling intensity of symptoms attenuated any correlations between symptoms and the sensory tests.
JOCMA7; NIOSH-Author; Painting; Solvent-vapors; Nervous-system-disorders; Age-factors; Construction-workers; Diagnostic-techniques; Measurement-equipment; Sensory-perceptual-disorders; Sensory-thresholds
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Journal Article
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Journal of Occupational Medicine
Page last reviewed: October 26, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division