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Peripheral neurologic abnormalities among roofing workers: sentinel case and clinical screening.
Herbert R; Gerr F; Luo J; Harris-Abbott D; Landrigan PJ
Arch Environ Health 1995 Sep; 50(5):349-354
Peripheral neuropathy was reported in a roofing workers exposed to n- hexane (110543) and other organic solvents. A clinical study of roofers was then undertaken. The index case was a 52 year old white male who had been a roofer for 16 years and began applying one ply roofing 4 years prior to evaluation. His symptoms included loss of balance, lightheadedness, headache, irritability, and fatigue during the year and a half prior to evaluation. He developed symmetrical paresthesia in his feet and hands. Forty white male roofing workers participated in the expanded study; 28 were still working as roofers at the time of the study. The most commonly reported symptoms included lightheadedness, headache, and irritability. No neurological abnormalities were found on routine mental status evaluation, examination of motor strength, testing of deep tendon reflexes, or Romberg testing. Vibrotactile threshold abnormalities occurred much more often in the lower extremities. The authors suggest that these findings indicate a previously unreported health hazard for roofing workers. The results also indicate the importance of recognizing possible sentinel health events among individual patients in the clinical setting. The authors suggest that there is a need for formal epidemiologic study of peripheral nerve function among roofing workers.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Roofing-industry; Organic-solvents; Organic-vapors; Nervous-system-disorders; Neuropathology; Risk-factors; Epidemiology; Sensory-thresholds
Community Medicine Mount Sinai School of Medicine One Gustave L Levy Place New York, NY 10029
Issue of Publication
Archives of Environmental Health
Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York
Page last reviewed: October 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division