Haemopoietic effects of ethylene glycol monomethyl ether (EGME) are described in three young women employed in a frame factory where the substance was applied under apparently safe hygienic conditions. In a ventilated room they used a mixture of acetone (70%) and EGME (30%) to glue together cellulose acetate frame components. During a periodic medical examination their white blood cell count was found to be abnormally low, with a relative lymphocytosis, macrocytosis with red blood cells, and haemoglobin at borderline normal values. These findings persisted over the exposure period but the haematological parameters returned to normal on stopping exposure. The subjects remained clinically healthy during the exposure period. This exposure to EGME occurred in an industry where such toxicity had not been previously reported and describes a situation in which the risk did not come from the exposure to vapour but most likely from an insufficient skin protection.
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