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Peripheral neuropathy in workers exposed to nitromethane.
Page EH; Pajeau AK; Arnold TC; Fincher AR; Goddard MJ
Am J Ind Med 2001 Jul; 40(1):107-113
BACKGROUND: Two workers from a headlight subassembly plant developed severe peripheral neuropathy. These workers had extensive, but brief (1-2 months) dermal and inhalational exposure to nitromethane, a solvent. METHODS: Environmental sampling was performed for nitromethane and ethyl cyanoacrylate. Medical records, including electrodiagnostic studies, were reviewed. Literature on nitromethane, ethyl cyanoacrylate, and other exposures in the workplace was reviewed. RESULTS: Electromyography and nerve conduction studies performed on these patients were consistent with a severe, axonal neuropathy. No etiology was discovered despite an extensive medical evaluation. Environmental sampling revealed exposure to nitromethane at the threshold limit value. CONCLUSIONS: The history of acute onset of severe peripheral neuropathy temporally associated with exposure to nitromethane is suggestive of a toxic neuropathy. While it cannot be definitively concluded that these two workers developed peripheral neuropathy secondary to exposures at work, occupational exposure to nitromethane appears to be the most likely etiology.
Inhalation-studies; Injuries; Peripheral-nervous-system; Solvents; Etiology; Author Keywords: neuropathy; nitromethane; ethyl cyanoacrylate; methyl methacrylate
Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cincinnati, OH 45226-1998, USA
Issue of Publication
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division