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Anosmia in Alkaline Battery Workers
  1. R. G. Adams,
  2. Norman Crabtree
  1. Alkaline Battery Company Limited, Redditch
  2. The United Birmingham Hospitals


    The sense of smell of 106 alkaline battery workmen exposed at their work to cadmium and nickel dust has been compared with a control group of 84 men matched for age. The battery workers reported significantly more anosmia than the controls (15% to zero) and did less well in the phenol smelling test (27·3% to 4·8%). Cadmium proteinuria was found in 17 of the battery workers, 11 of whom showed virtual anosmia. Figures of recent concentrations of cadmium and nickel in the atmosphere are given. The noses of 85 battery workers and 75 controls were examined. Signs of non-specific chronic irritation were more frequent in the battery workers but no significant relationship was established between this appearance and the presence of anosmia. It is concluded that the anosmia is due to exposure to cadmium or nickel dust or a mixture of the two.

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