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Epidemiology. 2002 Nov;13(6):718-20.

Organic solvents and the risk of multiple sclerosis.

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Section for Occupational Medicine, Department of Public Health, University of Bergen, Norway.



Epidemiologic studies suggest that environmental factors may be part of the yet unknown causation of multiple sclerosis (MS). Several case-control studies have shown a history of elevated exposure to organic solvents among cases.


Three cohorts of 11,542 painters, 36,899 construction workers and 9,314 food-processing workers were identified by the 1970 census in Norway. The cohorts were followed until the end of 1986 for registration of disability pensions.


A total of nine painters, 12 construction workers and six food workers had received a disability pension because of MS. The relative risk for painters compared with workers not exposed to organic solvents was 2.0 (95% confidence inter-val = 0.9-4.5) for MS.


These results are compatible with the hypothesis of organic solvents being a possible risk factor for MS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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