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Suprathreshold intensity and annoyance reactions in experimental challenge to toluene and n-butyl acetate among subjects with long-term solvent exposure

Örbaek, Palle LU ; Österberg, Kai LU ; Åkesson, Bengt LU ; Bergendorf, Ulf LU ; Karlson, Björn LU and Seger, L (1998) In Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health 24(5). p.432-438
Abstract
OBJECTIVES: This study explores reactions to low-level chemical challenge, aiming at the development of test procedures for assessing individual sensitivity to smells and chemicals. METHODS: Subjects with symptoms and neuropsychological test results compatible with toxic encephalopathy type 2A (TE-2A) and 2B (TE-2B) and unexposed referents (N=12 in each group) were challenged in an exposure chamber. Toluene exposure was started at 11 mg/m3, and it followed a geometric progression scale with a ratio of 2, until reaching 180 mg/m3. In a counterbalanced design, the subjects were similarly exposed to n-butyl acetate starting at a concentration of 14 mg/m3 and increasing to 228 mg/m3. At each exposure level, smell intensity was measured on a... (More)
OBJECTIVES: This study explores reactions to low-level chemical challenge, aiming at the development of test procedures for assessing individual sensitivity to smells and chemicals. METHODS: Subjects with symptoms and neuropsychological test results compatible with toxic encephalopathy type 2A (TE-2A) and 2B (TE-2B) and unexposed referents (N=12 in each group) were challenged in an exposure chamber. Toluene exposure was started at 11 mg/m3, and it followed a geometric progression scale with a ratio of 2, until reaching 180 mg/m3. In a counterbalanced design, the subjects were similarly exposed to n-butyl acetate starting at a concentration of 14 mg/m3 and increasing to 228 mg/m3. At each exposure level, smell intensity was measured on a 7-step category scale. Mucous membrane irritation and annoyance reactions were rated on visual analogue scales. RESULTS: Both TE groups showed high sensitivity to the low-level solvent challenge, which provoked immediate annoyance and fatigue reactions. In particular the TE-2B group related smell intensity to various annoyance dimensions during exposure to n-butyl acetate, a pattern not observed during toluene exposure. The reference group clearly separated smell intensity and annoyance reactions in both exposure conditions. CONCLUSIONS: The reaction of the TE cases suggests that chemical sensitivity can be distinguished from normal annoyance reactions by the inability to differentiate between smell intensity and an experience of irritation from mucous membranes in air concentrations well below the trigeminal irritation threshold level. Fatigue coreactivity in challenges to single substances below the neurotoxic level may also be important. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health
volume
24
issue
5
pages
432 - 438
publisher
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health
external identifiers
  • pmid:9869316
  • scopus:0031784144
ISSN
0355-3140
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
1a4d19f9-3536-4129-a6eb-03856a69c3f3 (old id 1113077)
date added to LUP
2008-07-14 11:32:49
date last changed
2017-01-01 05:08:42
@article{1a4d19f9-3536-4129-a6eb-03856a69c3f3,
  abstract     = {OBJECTIVES: This study explores reactions to low-level chemical challenge, aiming at the development of test procedures for assessing individual sensitivity to smells and chemicals. METHODS: Subjects with symptoms and neuropsychological test results compatible with toxic encephalopathy type 2A (TE-2A) and 2B (TE-2B) and unexposed referents (N=12 in each group) were challenged in an exposure chamber. Toluene exposure was started at 11 mg/m3, and it followed a geometric progression scale with a ratio of 2, until reaching 180 mg/m3. In a counterbalanced design, the subjects were similarly exposed to n-butyl acetate starting at a concentration of 14 mg/m3 and increasing to 228 mg/m3. At each exposure level, smell intensity was measured on a 7-step category scale. Mucous membrane irritation and annoyance reactions were rated on visual analogue scales. RESULTS: Both TE groups showed high sensitivity to the low-level solvent challenge, which provoked immediate annoyance and fatigue reactions. In particular the TE-2B group related smell intensity to various annoyance dimensions during exposure to n-butyl acetate, a pattern not observed during toluene exposure. The reference group clearly separated smell intensity and annoyance reactions in both exposure conditions. CONCLUSIONS: The reaction of the TE cases suggests that chemical sensitivity can be distinguished from normal annoyance reactions by the inability to differentiate between smell intensity and an experience of irritation from mucous membranes in air concentrations well below the trigeminal irritation threshold level. Fatigue coreactivity in challenges to single substances below the neurotoxic level may also be important.},
  author       = {Örbaek, Palle and Österberg, Kai and Åkesson, Bengt and Bergendorf, Ulf and Karlson, Björn and Seger, L},
  issn         = {0355-3140},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {432--438},
  publisher    = {Finnish Institute of Occupational Health},
  series       = {Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health},
  title        = {Suprathreshold intensity and annoyance reactions in experimental challenge to toluene and n-butyl acetate among subjects with long-term solvent exposure},
  volume       = {24},
  year         = {1998},
}