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J Occup Health year 2002 volume 44 number 4 page 234 - 239
Classification Original
Title Cholinesterase Activity in Female Greenhouse Workers-Influence of Work Practices and Use of Oral Contraceptives
Author Jesper B NIELSEN and Helle R ANDERSEN
Organization Environmental Medicine, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
Keywords Pesticides, Cholinesterase activity, Occupational exposure, Re-entry intervals, Confounding, Oral contraceptives
Correspondence J. B Nielsen, Environmental Medicine, University of Southern Denmark, Winsl_wparken 17, DK-5000 Odense C, Denmark
Abstract Cholinesterase Activity in Female Greenhouse Workers-Influence of Work Practices and Use of Oral Contraceptives: Jesper B NIELSEN, et al. Environmental Medicine, University of Southern Denmark-Objectives-Associations between serum butyryl cholinesterase activity in female greenhouse workers and information from a questionnaire on work, use of personal protective equipment, and lifestyle were evaluated. Methods-Data were gathered for 571 female greenhouse workers by means of a questionnaire and serum cholinesterase analyses (butyrylthiocholin-assay). Results-The mean concentration of butyryl cholinesterase in serum was 6.50 kU/l. Serum butyryl cholinesterase activity was significantly decreased by the use of oral contraceptives (p<0.001). Among women with re-entry intervals less than 24 h, serum butyryl cholinesterase activities were significantly reduced. Within this group of women, only those not using gloves during the manual handling of plant cultures had significantly reduced serum butyryl cholinesterase activities (p=0.028). Conclusions-Use of oral contraceptives is an important confounder in studies on serum butyryl cholinesterase activity. If re-entry intervals were below 24 h, serum butyryl cholinesterase activity was significantly inhibited, but use of gloves protected the women from such exposures.