The prevalence of selected illnesses and symptoms during 1977-85 was compared between 175 employees potentially exposed to the organophosphate insecticide chlorpyrifos and 335 matched controls with no history of exposure to organophosphates. Subjects were subdivided into three exposure intensity groups on the basis of job title and air monitoring data for dose response testing. This classification scheme was shown roughly to correlate with plasma cholinesterase inhibition in the workers. No statistically significant differences in illness or prevalence of symptoms were observed between the exposed and unexposed groups or among the three exposure subgroups. Potentially exposed employees did report symptoms of dizziness and of malaise and fatigue relatively more often than subjects from the comparison group; however, further analyses by exposure level, process area, or time did not support a relation with exposure. No cases of peripheral neuropathy were seen among the exposed workers. Although the sample size was small and the statistical power limited, the cumulative exposures likely to have been experienced by this workforce exceed those to be expected for individuals using the product as recommended. The absence of exposure related adverse effects, including neurological impairment, is reassuring.
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