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Clinical findings in workers exposed to pentachlorophenol

Abstract

Comparative findings are presented on the health and exposure status of groups of individuals in Hawaii with and without occupational exposure to pentachlorophenol (PCP). Occupational exposure to PCP occurred through employment at firms engaged in the treatment of wood with either PCP alone or PCP plus other compounds as preservative chemicals. Mean serum levels were 0.32 ppm for 32 control individuals, 1.72 ppm for 24 workers exposed to PCP and other wood preservative chemicals, and 3.78 ppm for 22 workers exposed to PCP as the sole preservative chemical.

Age-standardized prevalence rates were significantly higher among the PCP-exposed than among the controls for low-grade infections or inflammations of the skin and subcutaneous tissue, protective membrane of the eyes and the mucosa membrane of the upper respiratory tract. Strong to moderate statistical associations were observed between PCP exposure and increased occurrence of bands (immature leucocytes) and basophils, increased plasma cholinesterase, alkaline phosphatase, gamma globulin and uric acid, and decreased serum calcium. Despite these statistical associations, laboratory values considered to be clinically abnormal were few and not significantly greater in occurrence among the PCP-exposed individuals.

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Research supported through a contract with the Epidemiologic Studies Program, Human Effects Monitoring Branch, Technical Services Division of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC 20460, and a grant from the American Wood Preservers' Institute, 1651 Old Meadows Road, McClean, VA 22101.

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Klemmer, H.W., Wong, L., Sato, M.M. et al. Clinical findings in workers exposed to pentachlorophenol. Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 9, 715–725 (1980). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01055546

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Keywords

  • Alkaline Phosphatase
  • Uric Acid
  • Serum Calcium
  • Cholinesterase
  • Occupational Exposure