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EC number: 203-777-6
CAS number: 110-54-3
Two human epidemiological studies were
identified for n-hexane (Wang, 1986; Klimisch score =2 and Governa et al.,
1987; Klimisch score = 2).
a key epidemiological study researchers evaluated a group of 59 press
proofing workers from 16 factories who were employed for at least 2
months (Wang, 1986; Klimisch score =2). All but four of these workers
had regular contact with solvents in the process of cleaning the
rollers. Two exposure measures using personal air samplers were taken in
14 of the 16 factories. Referent neurological data was also collected
from workers and healthy individuals. MCVs were also collected from
workers exposed to n-hexane.
neurological examination identified 15 workers with polyneuropathy and
two ashymptomatic workers with abnormal MCVs. All but one of the workers
were employed in factories that used solvents with n-hexane
concentrations in excess of 50%.
association was found with length of employment, statistically
significant associations existed between frequency of polyneuropathy and
abnormal MCV and n-hexane concentration in the cleaning solvents and
between the frequency of polyneuropathy and n-hexane air concentrations.
However, a significant reduction in the MCV was found among workers
exposed to air concentrations less than 25 ppm, a result that the
authors considered to be related to the prolonged exposure due to
Governa et al. (1987) investigated the
correlation between electrographic changes indicative of polyneuropathy
and urinary excretion of metabolites indicative of exposure to n-hexane.
Forty workers were randomly chosen from four small shoe factories. All
workers handled a type of glue or solvent that contained over 50%
n-hexane without protective equipment for about 7 hours/day. All
subjects exhibited no more than mild or nonspecific symptoms of
polyneuropathy and were free of other known risk factors for nervous
system impairment. A urine sample was collected at the end of a shift,
and then a neurophysiological examination (MCV, SCV, and associated
distal latencies [DL]) was carried out the following day. Reference
values were obtained from 41 unexposed individuals. The urinary
concentrations n-hexane metabolites were measured in 40 workers, but
only those for two of the five n-hexane metabolites were above minimum
detection limits (MDLs): 2,5-hexanedione (mean, 6.80 mg/L) and
(valerolactone (mean, 3.31 mg/L). A statistically significant
dose-response relationship for the electroneuromyography (ENM) scores
was found for 2,5 -hexanedione and valerolactone. A threshold value of
7.5 mg/L was closely related to the incidence of abnormalities. Some
variation from the relationship was apparent because three workers with
lower concentrations of 2.5 -hexanedione (3.0, 3.3, and 4.5 mg/L)
displayed ENM changes.
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