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Papers of the Week

2022 Jun

Environ Anal Health Toxicol



Factors affecting prevalence of neurological symptoms among workers at gasoline stations in Rayong Province, Thailand.


Polyong C P, Thetkathuek A
Environ Anal Health Toxicol. 2022 Jun; 37(2):e2022009-0.
PMID: 35878917.


This cross-sectional study was aimed at assessing the exposure to organic solvents and the factors affecting prevalence of neurological symptoms among workers at gas stations in Rayong Province. The sample included 200 workers at gas stations, including refueling staff, cashiers, food shop, coffee shop, and convenience store employees. Interview questionnaire included general information, work history, and neurological symptoms. Urine collection devices were used to detect organic solvents metabolized in urine, including t,t-muconic acid (t,t-MA), hippulic acid (HA), mandelic acid (MA), and methylhppuric acid (MHA).The results showed that the workers' medians (interquartile range: IQR) of the metabolized organic solvents were as follows: t,t-MA was 393.62 (244.59) µg/g Cr, HA was 0.32 (0.14) g/g Cr, MA was 0.06 (0.02) g/g Cr, and MHA was 0.40 (0.13) g/g Cr. For prevalence of neurological symptoms, top three symptoms were headache (49.0%), dizziness (42.5%), and stress/irritability (38.5%). Working at a gas station present was neurological symptoms more than in the past was 32.5%. According to the assessment of exposure to metabolized organic solvents and factors affecting the prevalence of neurological symptoms, overtime work ≥ 6 hours and HA content greater than quartiles Q3 had an effect on neurologic symptoms (OR=2.17; 95%CI=1.23-5.10 and OR=2.15; 95%CI=1.18- 4.76, respectively). In summary, time spent working in gas stations and exposure to toluene organic solvents can cause neurological symptoms. It is recommended to reduce overtime or add breaks during work shifts or shift changes. In addition, workers should be away from the solvent.