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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 1998;31(4): 628-643.
Study on the Exposure Levels of Organic Solvents and Subjective Symptoms of Dry-cleaning Workers.
Soo Young Kim, Jeong Yun Kim, Yeon Kyeng Lee, Sok Goo Lee, Young Soo Lee, Young Chae Cho, Tae Young Lee, Dong Bae Lee
Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Korea.
ABSTRACT
To investigate the exposure levels of organic solvents and subjective symptoms of dry-cleaning workers, 77 male and 52 female dry-cleaning workers who had been worked in a small city of Chungnam province, and a large city, Taejon were selected for the study group. Air concentrations of organic solvents in the working environment were analyzed, and subjective symptoms of dry-cleaning workers were surveyed, from July to August 1996. The results obtained were as follows: 1. The concentrations of organic solvents in the working environment were within permissible TLV-TWA limits. 2. For the 13 symptom clusters, the most frequently complained symptom clusters were fatigue as 71.3%, and followed by depression and urinary disturbances as 53.5% and 51.9%. Other symptom clusters complained were below 50%. 3. Positive response rates of subjective symptoms were significantly higher in worker groups such as lived in a large city, female, higher education level, more frequently alcohol drinking, higher concentration of organic solvent in working environment, work in alone. 4. Workers who had used solvent B showed 2.3 point higher scores of subjective symptoms than those of solvent A. Of the subjective symptoms scores, amnesia and nervousness were higher in solvent B user group than solvent B user group. 5. As a result of factor analysis, 3 factors such as depression, urinary disturbance and neurologic disturbance were selected. 6. As a result of the logistic regression analysis, sex, the number of fellow workers, working time, region, job tenure, smoking, alcohol drinking, ventilating system, concentration of organic solvent in working environment and place of residence were selected for the related variables For the conclusion, even though the concentrations of organic solvents in the working environments of dry-cleaning workers were within permissible limit of TLV-TWA, many dry-cleaning workers complained symptoms, such as fatigue, depression, urinary disturbances and so on. And the factors affecting to the symptoms of dry-cleaning workers were the number of fellow workers, work hours, region, job tenure, smoking and alcohol drinking.
Key words: dry-cleaning; mixed organic solvent; neurotoxicity
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