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Psychological test performance during experimental challenge to toluene and n-butyl acetate in cases of solvent-induced toxic encephalopathy

Österberg, Kai LU ; Örbaek, Palle LU ; Karlson, Björn LU ; Seger, Lena; Åkesson, Bengt LU and Bergendorf, Ulf LU (2000) In Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health 26(3). p.219-226
Abstract
OBJECTIVES: This study determined whether performance in neurobehavioral tests deteriorates during subjectively annoying chemical challenge below known neurotoxic thresholds among persons with toxic encephalopathy with subjective hypersensitivity to chemicals.



METHODS: Subjects with symptoms and previous neuropsychological test results compatible with toxic encephalopathy (TE) of either type 2A (N=12) or 2B (N=12) and unexposed referents (N=12) were challenged in an exposure chamber. In a counterbalanced design, the subjects were exposed on 2 occasions to increasing air concentrations of n-butyl acetate and toluene at levels well below the thresholds for neurotoxic effects. Attention and motor speed tests were given (i)... (More)
OBJECTIVES: This study determined whether performance in neurobehavioral tests deteriorates during subjectively annoying chemical challenge below known neurotoxic thresholds among persons with toxic encephalopathy with subjective hypersensitivity to chemicals.



METHODS: Subjects with symptoms and previous neuropsychological test results compatible with toxic encephalopathy (TE) of either type 2A (N=12) or 2B (N=12) and unexposed referents (N=12) were challenged in an exposure chamber. In a counterbalanced design, the subjects were exposed on 2 occasions to increasing air concentrations of n-butyl acetate and toluene at levels well below the thresholds for neurotoxic effects. Attention and motor speed tests were given (i) in room air outside the chamber before the challenge, (ii) in room air inside the chamber before the exposure, (iii) at 12 ppm (44 or 56 mg/m3), and (iv) at 48 ppm (at 180 or 228 mg/m3).



RESULTS: For both substances the TE groups showed a slight increase (deterioration) in the simple reaction-time task during chemical exposure, but not in the complex reaction-time task or in the digit symbol test of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale. Contrary to reference subjects, the TE subjects did not show any improvement or learning effect in the digit symbol test over the chamber phases. n-Butyl acetate tended to affect cognitive functioning more obviously than toluene did. Suggestion or expectancy effects were not observed in any group in the clean-air baseline conditions.



CONCLUSIONS: The results do not support the notion that men with subjective hypersensitivity to chemicals would be more affected than healthy men regarding cognitive functioning during annoying solvent exposure below thresholds for acute neurotoxic effects. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
cacosmia, chemical sensitivity, exposure chamber, neuropsychological test
in
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health
volume
26
issue
3
pages
219 - 226
publisher
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health
external identifiers
  • pmid:10901114
  • scopus:0033934147
ISSN
0355-3140
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
dbbd8928-d546-4b5a-9e80-b34faa81d4ac (old id 1117233)
alternative location
http://www.jstor.org/stable/40967052
date added to LUP
2016-01-22 14:30:38
date last changed
2017-01-01 04:29:36
@article{dbbd8928-d546-4b5a-9e80-b34faa81d4ac,
  abstract     = {OBJECTIVES: This study determined whether performance in neurobehavioral tests deteriorates during subjectively annoying chemical challenge below known neurotoxic thresholds among persons with toxic encephalopathy with subjective hypersensitivity to chemicals.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
METHODS: Subjects with symptoms and previous neuropsychological test results compatible with toxic encephalopathy (TE) of either type 2A (N=12) or 2B (N=12) and unexposed referents (N=12) were challenged in an exposure chamber. In a counterbalanced design, the subjects were exposed on 2 occasions to increasing air concentrations of n-butyl acetate and toluene at levels well below the thresholds for neurotoxic effects. Attention and motor speed tests were given (i) in room air outside the chamber before the challenge, (ii) in room air inside the chamber before the exposure, (iii) at 12 ppm (44 or 56 mg/m3), and (iv) at 48 ppm (at 180 or 228 mg/m3).<br/><br>
<br/><br>
RESULTS: For both substances the TE groups showed a slight increase (deterioration) in the simple reaction-time task during chemical exposure, but not in the complex reaction-time task or in the digit symbol test of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale. Contrary to reference subjects, the TE subjects did not show any improvement or learning effect in the digit symbol test over the chamber phases. n-Butyl acetate tended to affect cognitive functioning more obviously than toluene did. Suggestion or expectancy effects were not observed in any group in the clean-air baseline conditions.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
CONCLUSIONS: The results do not support the notion that men with subjective hypersensitivity to chemicals would be more affected than healthy men regarding cognitive functioning during annoying solvent exposure below thresholds for acute neurotoxic effects.},
  author       = {Österberg, Kai and Örbaek, Palle and Karlson, Björn and Seger, Lena and Åkesson, Bengt and Bergendorf, Ulf},
  issn         = {0355-3140},
  keyword      = {cacosmia,chemical sensitivity,exposure chamber,neuropsychological test},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {219--226},
  publisher    = {Finnish Institute of Occupational Health},
  series       = {Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health},
  title        = {Psychological test performance during experimental challenge to toluene and n-butyl acetate in cases of solvent-induced toxic encephalopathy},
  volume       = {26},
  year         = {2000},
}