Assessment of neurobehavioral disorders in workers exposed to organic solvents in a publication house
Background: Organic solvents are known as a group of organic compounds, widely used in industry and to which many workers are exposed. Neurotoxicity is one of the most important complications of the chronic exposure to the solvents and may causes neurobehavioral disorders in workers. We have studied the frequency of neurobehavioral disorders in workers exposed to organic solvents in one of the publishing houses in Tehran.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 510 workers of a publishing house, having been employed at least a year before the research, were selected to be studied. Among them, 345 workers had been exposed to organic solvents and the other (165 workers) had not. Data were collected using a questionnaire. This questionnaire included demographic and occupational information, and the Swedish Q16 questionnaire. Variables included age, duration of employment, working shift, and smoking. Then we compared both groups in terms of neurobehavioral disorders, using statistical methods.
Results: The mean score of the Swedish Q16 questionnaire in the exposed group (4.8±4.4) was significantly higher than the non-exposed group (3.2±3.1) (p=0.001). According to the questionnaire score, the frequency of neurobehavioral disorders in the exposed group was 38% and in the non-exposed group was 22% (p=0.001). We estimated that the frequency of neurobehavioral disorders in the exposed group was significantly higher than the non-exposed group (p<0.05) using regression analysis and removal of the confounding factors.
Conclusion: This study shows that the frequency of the neurobehavioral disorders in the exposed group is significantly higher than the non-exposed group.