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Lead, Solvents, and Neurobehavior in Construction Workers.


PB2015100618

Publication Date 1998
Personal Author Fiedler, N. L.; Gochfeld, M.; Wedeen, R.; Weisel, C.
Page Count 119
Abstract Construction workers are routinely exposed to hazards including neurotoxicants with little or no protection or medical monitoring of health effects. Neurobehavioral tests of cognition, sensory function, and mood were compared between the following four groups of construction workers who were members of the International Association of Bridge, Structural and Ornamental Iron Workers or International Brotherhood of Painters and Allied Trades (IBPAT): Lead (N= 38); Lead/Solvent (N=40); Solvent (N = 46); Controls (N= 42). Groups were matched on age, education, intellectual ability, alcohol and drug use, gender, and ethnicity. Average bone lead was comparable between the Lead and Lead/Solvent groups with a mean of 14.4 ppm (S.D. = 19.0) and 19.5 ppm (S.D. = 11.4), respectively. Lifetime solvent exposure estimates were significantly higher in the Solvent and Lead/Solvent groups which did not differ from each other. Memory function was significantly reduced for the exposed .groups relative to the Controls. Relative to Controls, the Solvent group had reduced verbal memory while the Lead exposed group had increased latency of response on a coding task involving visuospatial memory. Lead and solvent exposure did not have a synergistic or additive effect on cognitive performance. Bone lead was a significant predictor of latency of response for the coding task while lifetime solvent exposure was a significant predictor of verbal memory performance. Sensory losses included reduced contrast sensitivity for the Solvent group relative to a matched group of Controls, while hearing loss was documented for the Lead group, composed primarily of Iron Workers. Significant reductions in bone lead were documented at a 2 year follow-up and some improvement in functions of attention/concentration were also seen.
Keywords
  • Occupational safety and health
  • Occupational hazards
  • Construction workers
  • Behavior
  • Lead dust
  • Solvents
  • Behavior patterns
  • Bridges
  • Demographic characteristics
  • Health effects
  • Iron workers
  • Lead compounds
  • Neurotoxins
  • Occupational exposure
  • Painters
Source Agency
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
NTIS Subject Category
  • 57U - Public Health & Industrial Medicine
  • 68G - Environmental Health & Safety
  • 50A - Highway Engineering
  • 89G - Construction Materials, Components, & Equipment
Corporate Authors Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Inst., Piscataway, NJ.; National Inst. for Occupational Safety and Health, Washington, DC.
Supplemental Notes Sponsored by National Inst. for Occupational Safety and Health, Washington, DC.
Document Type Technical Report
NTIS Issue Number 201503
Lead, Solvents, and Neurobehavior in Construction Workers.
Lead, Solvents, and Neurobehavior in Construction Workers.
PB2015100618

  • Occupational safety and health
  • Occupational hazards
  • Construction workers
  • Behavior
  • Lead dust
  • Solvents
  • Behavior patterns
  • Bridges
  • Demographic characteristics
  • Health effects
  • Iron workers
  • Lead compounds
  • Neurotoxins
  • Occupational exposure
  • Painters
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
  • 57U - Public Health & Industrial Medicine
  • 68G - Environmental Health & Safety
  • 50A - Highway Engineering
  • 89G - Construction Materials, Components, & Equipment
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