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Diss Factsheets

Toxicological information

Health surveillance data

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Administrative data

health surveillance data
Type of information:
other: health surveillance
Adequacy of study:
supporting study
2 (reliable with restrictions)
Rationale for reliability incl. deficiencies:
study well documented, meets generally accepted scientific principles, acceptable for assessment

Data source

Reference Type:
Toxische Schädigung der Leber durch Chloroform bei Chemiebetriebswerkern
Bomski H, Sobolewska A, Strakowski A
Bibliographic source:
Int. Archiv für Gewerbepathologie und Gewerbehygiene 24, 127-134

Materials and methods

Study type:
human medical data
Endpoint addressed:
other: worker medical data
Test guideline
no guideline followed
Principles of method if other than guideline:
Liver effects seen in workers being frequently exposed to chloroform at their working places are compared to effects seen in formerly exposed workers, in people with a past hepatitis infection and not exposed to chloroform at work and in healthy people not exposed to chloroform at work. Medical investigations included anamnestic assessment, exact physical examinations, routinely performed laboratory analysees (erythrocyte sedimentation rate, blood morphology, urinary analysis), and analysis of total blood protein, electrophoretic distribution of proteins, reaction of proteins (thymol diffusion, zinc sulfate, Takata Ara tests), urobilinogen in urine, Serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT) and serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase (SGPT) activity. Testing of the liver functions was performed using the Popper and Schaffner method (1961).
GLP compliance:

Test material

Constituent 1
Chemical structure
Reference substance name:
EC Number:
EC Name:
Cas Number:
Molecular formula:
Details on test material:
Not applicable


Type of population:
Ethical approval:
not applicable

Results and discussion

The concentration of chloroform in occupational air ranged from 0.01 to 1 mg/L. The examination of 68 workers who were frequently exposed to chloroform revealed an increased liver in 25% of the cases. In 5.6% of the cases, a toxic hepatitis was diagnosed. In 20.6% of the cases, a toxic fatty liver was diagnosed. The incidence of hepatitis was significantly increased in workers frequently exposed to chloroform. It was hypothesised that toxic effects of chloroform to the liver were favouring a viral infection.

Any other information on results incl. tables

Table 1: Incidence of hepatitis infections caused by icteric viruses in the population of the town, where the investigated company was located, and in the workers exposed to chloroform.

Investigated group year 1960   year 1961   year 1962  
General town population  0.35%  0.22%  0.38% 
Workers exposed to chloroform  16.66%  7.50%  4.44% 
Level of significance in differences (t)  3.66  2.39  1.65 

Applicant's summary and conclusion

Exposure of workers to chloroform vapours at concentrations ranging from 0.01 to 1 mg/L (10 to 100 mg/m3) was associated with adverse hepatic effects. It was hypothesised that exposure of the workers to the chloroform vapours induced hepatic adverse effects and was favouring the infection with icteric viruses.
Executive summary:

The investigation of 68 workers frequently exposed to chloroform vapours at concentrations ranging from 0.01 to 1 mg/L revealed a number of hepatic adverse effects including toxic hepatitis and fatty livers. The incidence of hepatitis due to an infection with icteric viruses was significantly increased in the group of workers compared to the general town population. It was hypothesised that frequent exposure of the workers to the chloroform vapours induced hepatic adverse effects and was favouring the infection with icteric viruses.