Health Hazards of Solvents Exposure among Workers in Paint Industry


Background: Paints and coatings include paints, varnishes, lacquers, stains, printing inks and more. A wide variety of volatile solvents are used in paint and coating manufacturing including aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons, alcohols, ketones and consist of more than 30% of most of paints. At low or moderate concentrations, the organic solvents may cause transient symptoms such as euphoria, headache and dizziness. At high concentrations, anaesthesia and disturbances in respiration and circulation may occur and may lead to death. Long-term exposure may cause damage to the Central Nervous System (CNS), such as cognitive and emotional deficits. Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted among 92 male workers exposed to organic solvents on performing their job in Koratol Paint Factory in Alaama Village in Sharkia Governorate. Another group of 95 workers, not working with organic solvents were selected from the Faculty of Medicine in Zagazig University and considered as a control group. All participants in the study were subjected to a pre-designed questionnaire to collect information about personal, socio-demographic data, occupational history, use of personal protective equipments, frequently perceived health complaints which included irritation symptoms (skin, eye and nose) and Questions of the validated questionnaire for the neuropsychological symptoms (Q22). Results: The neuropsychological symptoms score (Q22) revealed that 63.04% of solvents exposed paint manufacturing workers had neuropsychological symptoms, compared to about only 2.1% in control group and the difference was statistically significant. Regarding the relation between types of job done and results of neuropsychological symptoms score (Q22) there was increased risk for neuropsychological symptoms in production group than packing group (OR = 13.94) and for the duration of work the risk increased in workers with duration over 15 years (OR = 32.84). Logistic regression analysis showed that the most important predictors of neuropsychological symptoms were the type of job performed by the workers such as production or packing and their duration of work ≥15 years. Conclusions: The paint industry workers were at increased risk of several irritant and neuropsychological symptoms which significantly related to exposure to paint and organic solvents.

Share and Cite:

A. Abd El Hamid Hassan, S. Abd El Moez Elnagar, I. Mohammadi El Tayeb and S. Abd El Halim Bolbol, "Health Hazards of Solvents Exposure among Workers in Paint Industry," Open Journal of Safety Science and Technology, Vol. 3 No. 4, 2013, pp. 87-95. doi: 10.4236/ojsst.2013.34011.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] N. M. El Mahdy and N. M. Radwan, “Assessment of Different Health Hazards in Painting Industry,” The Egyptian Journal of Occupational Medicine, Vol. 33, No. 2, 2009, pp. 211-232.
[2] Y. Gong, R. Kishi and S. Kasai, “Visual Dysfunction in Workers Exposed to a Mixture of Organic Solvents,” NeuroToxicology, Vol. 24, No. 4-5, 2003, pp. 703-710.
[3] F. Dick, “Solvent Neurotoxicity,” Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Vol. 63, No. 3, 2006, pp. 221-226.
[4] A. Karimi, M. Jahangiri, F. Zare and M. Amin, “Respirator Cartridge Change Scheduling in a Paint Plant in Iran,” Archives of industrial hygiene and toxicology, Vol. 64, No. 1, 2013, pp. 133-138.
[5] M. Vitali, F. Ensabella, D. Stella and M. Guidotti, “Eposure to Organic Solvents among Handicraft Car Painters: A Pilot Study in Italy,” Industrial Health, Vol. 44, No. 2, 2006, pp. 310-317.
[6] “Rutchiks: Organic Solvents,” 2006.
[7] J. Hoek, M. Verberk, G. Laan, G. Hageman and T. Ned, “Solvent Induced Chronic Encephalophathy; The Solvent Team Project,” Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, Vol. 145, No. 6, 2001, pp. 256-260.
[8] R. Chen, F. Dick and A. Seaton, “Health Effects of Solvent Exposure among Dockyard Painters: Mortality and Neuropsychological Symptoms,” Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Vol. 56, No. 6, 1999, pp. 383-387.
[9] C. Lee, K. Jeong, Y. Kim, C. Yoo, J. Lee and Y. Choi, “Neurobehavioral changes of Shipyard Painters exposed to mixed organic solvents,” Industrial Health, Vol. 43, No. 2, 2005, pp. 320-326.
[10] S. Zaidi, R. Tiwari, S. Gandhi, K. Patel, S. Kumar and H. Saiyed, “Neurobehavioral Effects and Hormones Profile among Spray Painter,” Industrial Health, Vol. 44, No. 1, 2006, pp. 93-97.
[11] NIOSH, “Current Intelligence Bulletin 48. Organic Solvent Neurotoxicity,” US Department of Health and Human Services, Ohio, 1987.
[12] M. Yücel, M. Takagi, M. Walterfang and D. Lubman, “Toluene Misuse and Long-Term Harms: A Systematic Review of the Neuropsychological and Neuroimaging Literature,” Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, Vol. 32, No. 5, 2008, pp. 910-936.
[13] J. Hooisma, H. Hanninen and H. Emmen, “Behavioral Effects of Exposure to Organic Solvents in Dutch Painters,” Neurotoxicology and Teratology, Vol. 15, No. 6, 1993, pp. 397-406.
[14] M. Viaene, W. Pauwels, H. Veulemans, H. Roels and R. Masschelein, “Neurobehavioural Changes and Persistence of Complaints in Workers Exposed to Styrene in a Polyester Boat Building Plant: Influence of Exposure Characteristics and Microsomal Epoxide Hydrolase Phenotype,” Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Vol. 58, No. 2, 2001, pp. 103-115.
[15] S. Kang, “The Applicability of WHO-NCTB in Korea,” Neurotoxicology, Vol. 21, No. 5, 2000, pp. 697-702.
[16] J. Payne, B. Stetson, M. Stevens, C. Johnson, D. Penzien and B. Dorsten, “The Impact of Cigarette Smoking on Headache Activity in Headache Patients,” Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, Vol. 31, No. 5, 1991, pp. 329-332.
[17] A. Aamodt, L. Stovner, K. Hagen, G. Brathen and J. Zwart, “Headache Prevalence Related to Smoking and Alcohol Use. The Head-HUNT Study,” European Journal of Neurology, Vol. 13, No. 11, 2006, pp. 1233-1238.
[18] B. Phillips and F. Danner, “Cigarette Smoking and Sleep Disturbance,” Archives of Internal Medicine, Vol. 155, No. 7, 1995, pp. 734-737.
[19] A. Zailinawati, K. Ariff, M. Nurjahan and C. Teng, “Epidemiology of Insomnia in Malaysian Adults: A Community-Based Survey in 4 Urban Areas,” Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health, Vol. 20, No. 3, 2008, pp. 224-233.
[20] D. Wetter and T. Young, “The Relation between Cigarette Smoking and Sleep Disturbance,” Preventive Medicine, Vol. 23, No. 3, 1994, pp. 328-362.
[21] P. Nassiri and F. Golbabai, “Assessment of Hydrocarbons in Workers’ Exposure a Paint Industry,” Industrial Health, Vol. 37, No. 4, 1999, pp. 469-473.
[22] K. Andersson and R. Hockey, “Effect of Cigarette Smoking on Incidental Memory,” Psychopharmacologia, Vol. 52, No. 3, 1977, pp. 223-229.
[23] L. Nilson, G. Sallsten and S. Hagberg, “Influence of Solvent Exposure and Aging on Cognitive Functioning: An 18 Year Follow Up of Formerly Exposed Floor Layers and Their Controls,” Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Vol. 59, No. 1, 2002, pp. 49-57.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.