Objective It is likely that organic solvents (OS) cause neuropsychological alterations even at low concentrations. The aim is to identify the presence of neuropsychological deficits in workers exposed to low levels of organic solvents.
Methods A cross sectional study was performed on 208 workers from a paint factory who were exposed to lower mean concentrations, as per Mexican official norms, to OS mixtures, mainly of toluene and xylene. Using the cumulative index for toluene (concentration weighted in time x years working at the company), two groups were formed: one for low and one for higher high exposure. Thirteen neuropsychological tests evaluated cognitive, motor, and four evaluated affective aspects.
Results Means were for: age 35(9.14) years; time working at the company 8(8.6) years. In the multiple linear regression models decreased function was confirmed only for two tests: trailmaking A (R2 = 12.3%) and Pursuit aiming II (R2 = 19.5%). Age contributed to this and higher education level improved performance.
Conclusions Slight alterations were observed in this population exposed to low OS concentrations. However, it is necessary to improve cumulative exposure measurement and identify the best, most sensitive neuropsychological tests.
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