Blue-yellow deficiency in workers exposed to low concentrations of organic solvents

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Objectives: To evaluate the effects of low concentrations of organic solvents on color vision. Methods: Color vision was examined in 24 workers exposed to mixtures of solvents and in 24 control subjects. Exposure to mixtures was below the threshold-limit values. Color vision ability was assessed using the Ishihara plates (to screen for congenital dyschromatopsia), the Farnsworth panel D-15 test, the Lanthony desaturated panel D-15 test, and the Standard Pseudoisochromatic Plates part 2 (SPP2 test). Results: The comparatively less sensitive Farnsworth panel D-15 test failed to show any difference between the groups, but the Lanthony panel D-15 desaturated test as well as the SPP2 test showed a significant impairment in the exposed group. Errors were of the blue-yellow type. Conclusion: This study gives further evidence that even mixtures of organic solvents at concentrations below the threshold-limit values may impair color vision.

Received: 7 January 1997 / Accepted: 14 May 1997