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Acta Otolaryngol. 2000 Mar;120(2):316-8.

Smell impairment in workers occupationally exposed to cadmium.

Author information

1
ENT & Audiology Division, The Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Lodz, Poland.

Abstract

ENT and olfactometric examinations were carried out on 73 workers at an electrochemical plant involved in the production of cadmium-nickel batteries, where cadmium fumes were emitted into the workplace. Exposure levels exceeded the maximum allowable concentrations by about 1-2 times. The controls included 43 non-exposed, age- and cigarette-smoking-matched people. The olfactometric tests were carried out by the blast injection method, using natural coffee, aniseed, lemon and mint oils; two threshold measurements were assessed: maximum perceptible odour (MPO) and minimum identifiable odour (MIO). In addition, blood chemistries and urinalysis were carried out. The study revealed the smell lesion in 45.2% of the exposed group vs 4.6% of the controls. A statistically significant correlation between olfactory dysfunction and cadmium concentrations in the blood and urine was found; however, no correlation with the duration of employment was observed. It seems most likely that cigarette smoking, which is a considerable source of cadmium, may intensify this dysfunction, hence heavy smokers should not work in conditions of cadmium exposure.

PMID:
11603797
DOI:
10.1080/000164800750001161
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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