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Ugeskr Laeger. 1989 Sep 4;151(36):2255-8.

[Organic brain damage in garage workers after long-term exposure to diesel exhaust fumes].

[Article in Danish]


Diesel motors are employed to an increasing extent for occupational transport and fumes from diesel driven vehicles constitute an increasing problem as regards atmospheric pollution but, in particular, they constitute a considerable risk to health for the workers exposed to diesel exhaust fumes in their daily work. In the clinic for occupational medicine, The University Hospital, Copenhagen, 14 garage workers were examined. Eleven of these had been exposed to great quantities of diesel exhaust fumes for 2 to 29 years. All 11 presented acute symptoms due to diesel exhaust fumes in the form of headache, vertigo, fatigue, irritation of mucous membranes, nausea, abdominal discomfort or diarrhoea. Seven persons had been employed for more than five years as garage workers. Six complained of failure of memory, difficulty in concentration, irritability, increased sleep requirement, psychological changes or reduced libido. Neuropsychological examination was undertaken in these six persons and in five of them organic brain damage, mainly of slight extent, was demonstrated. Diesel exhaust fumes contain many toxic substances: carbon monoxide, nitrous gases, sulphur oxides, aldehydes and hydrocarbons. It is not possible to indicate a single compound which is responsible for possible brain damage and a combination effect may well be concerned. This is a casuistic material. Only few investigations have previously been available which illustrated a possible connection between the neurotoxic effects and, in particular, brain damage. It is now considered important to emphasize that this may constitute a problem on exposure to diesel exhaust fumes.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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