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Occup Med (Lond). 2004 Oct;54(7):469-74.

Olfactory loss in poly (acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene) plastic injection-moulding workers.

Author information

1
Institute of Public Health, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan. chengsf@mail.iosh.gov.tw

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Plastics manufacturing factories are the fifth largest category of factories in industrial estates in Taiwan. It is known that complex airborne compounds and pungent odours are emitted during plastic injection-moulding processes. Workers exposed to acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) thermal decomposition products (TDP) may have olfactory loss.

AIMS:

This study examined olfactory loss in injection-moulding workers exposed to ABS TDP.

METHODS:

The method recommended by the Connecticut Chemosensory Clinical Research Center (CCCRC) was used to test the olfactory function of subjects, including 1-butanol threshold and odour identification, both pre- and post-work. The study sample included 52 ABS plastic injection-moulding workers (exposed group), as well as 72 workers from other departments (reference group).

RESULTS:

The results revealed that the exposed group had lower olfactory function after work than the reference group. The decrease in olfactory function after 1 workday was statistically significant. The prevalence of abnormal olfactory function post-work in the exposed group was higher than in the reference group.

CONCLUSIONS:

The findings of this study implied the ABS plastic injection-moulding process may worsen olfactory function among workers. Notably, this effect decreased olfactory threshold scores, not odour identification scores.

PMID:
15486179
DOI:
10.1093/occmed/kqh101
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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