Refrigeration repair workers may be intermittently exposed to fluorocarbons and their thermal decomposition products. A case of peripheral neuropathy (distal axonopathy) in a commercial refrigeration repairman prompted an epidemiological investigation of the health of refrigeration repair workers. No additional cases of peripheral neuropathy were identified among the 27 refrigeration repair workers studied. A reference group of 14 non-refrigeration repair workers was also studied. No differences were noted between groups for the ulnar (motor and sensory), median (motor and sensory), peroneal, sural, or tibial nerve conduction velocities. Refrigeration repair workers reported palpitations and lightheadedness significantly more often than workers in the reference group. No clinical neurological or electroneurophysiological abnormalities were detected in eight refrigeration repair workers followed up for three years during continuous employment.
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