Jager, K. W., Roberts, D. V., and Wilson, Andrew (1970).Brit. J. industr. Med.,27, 273-278. Neuromuscular function in pesticide workers. Electromyography (EMG) provides a sensitive, objective, and speedy method of detecting impairment of nerve and muscle function in pesticide workers who are apparently in good health. Exposure to two organophosphorus compounds (both were dimethyl phosphate esters) was associated with a high incidence (about 50%) of EMG signs of impaired nerve and muscle function. In workers exposed only to organochlorine compounds there was a much lower incidence (about 4%) of abnormal EMG. Exposure to these organophosphorus compounds was not associated with depression of blood cholinesterase activity even in those workers with typical EMG signs. It is concluded that measurement of blood cholinesterase activity does not provide a sensitive index of functional impairment of nerve and muscle.
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