Color discrimination testing reveals early printshop solvent neurotoxicity better than a neuropsychological test battery

  • Braun C
  • Daigneault S
  • Gilbert B
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Twenty standardized neuropsychological tests were compared to the Lanthony D-15 desaturated panel test of chromotopsia to determine which measures would most effectively discriminate solvent-exposed print workers from controls. All the workers of the printing services of Université du Québec a Montréal (N = 29) were assessed excepted one who refused to participate. Twenty-nine workers (employed on a full time basis) matched for occupation, age, sex, education, vocabulary, and written arithmetic (p > .13) with the print workers served as controls. Air samples revealed exposure to ethanol, perchloroethylene, methyl chloride, xylene, toluene, and stoddard solvent in the print shop. None of the 20 neuropsychological measures yielded a statistically significant decrement in the print workers. On the other hand, the Lanthony D-15 test revealed a significant group difference (p < .01) and a highly significant interaction between job category within the print shop and dyschromatopsia (p < .001) - the graphists, photocopiers, and printers/binders manifesting increasing severity of impairment as a function of increasing magnitude, and/or type, of dose. The results were interpreted to mean that in a cohort of printers with low seniority (10.42 years) such as this one, neuro-opthalmotoxic effects can be observed earlier than putative neuropsychotoxic effects with the tools at hand. © 1989.

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  • Claude M.J. Braun

  • Sylvie Daigneault

  • Brigitte Gilbert

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