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Liver Function Tests of Workers Exposed to Toluene and Toluene/Dimethylformamide at Low Concentrations

Da-Hong WANG, et al

Department of Public Health, Okayama University Medical School

Toluene, Dimethylformamide. Live function tests, Periodic health examination D. Wang, Department of Public Health, Okayama University Medical School, 2-5-1 Shikata-cho, Okayama 700, Japan
J Occup Healthyear1996Vol38No3113-117

The purpose of our study was to analyze the results of liver function tests of workers exposed to toluene or to toluene/dimethylformamide (DMF) at levels below 100 ppm of toluene [(previous Occupational Exposure Limits of the Japan Society for Occupational Health); 10 ppm of DMF] in comparison with those of the reference group in order to see whether these solvents had any effect on the liver at levels generally considered to be safe. Our results suggested that occupational exposure to toluene below previous Occupational Exposure Limits of the Japan Society for Occupational Health lowered serum glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (GPT) and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (gamma-GTP) activities significantly in males, on the other hand, serum levels of GPT and gamma-GTP in the female toluene-exposed group here significantly higher than those in the control group. Median Body Mass Index (BMI) levels and alcohol consumption did not show any significant difference between toluene-exposed subjects and the controls, suggesting that toluene exposure or other unknown life-style factors were likely to have more effects on the difference of serum GPT and gamma-GTP levels between toluene-exposed and control subjects. Serum GPT activity in the DMF/toluene-exposed group was significantly higher than that in the toluene-exposed group, and DMF exposure was considered to play a role in increasing the serum GPT activity in the DMF/toluene-exposed male group. The present results that the decreased serum GPT and gamma-GTP levels in the toluene-exposed male group necessitate performing further epidemiological and experimental studies to investigate the possible hepatic effect of toluene exposures at level generally considered to be safe.

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