Recent research shows that occupational exposure to several solvents, metals and other industrial chemicals can impair color vision in exposed workers. Occupation-related color vision impairment usually results in blue yellow color discrimination loss or, less frequently, a combination of blue-yellow and red-green loss. The eyes may be unequally involved, and the course is variable depending on exposure and other factors. The pathogenesis of occupational color vision loss has not been elucidated; it may be due to, e.g. a direct action of neurotoxins on receptors, possibly on the cone's membrane metabolism, and/or to an interference with neurotransmitters within the retina. Other possible pathogenetic mechanisms, such as a direct effect to the optic nerve, have also been suggested. Occupational color vision loss is usually sub-clinical, and workers are unaware of any deficit. It can be assessed using sensitive tests, such as the Farnsworth-Munsell 100 Hue (FM-100) or the Lanthony D-15 desaturated panel (D-15 d). The latter is the most widely used for studies in groups of exposed workers, and offers the possibility of a quantitative evaluation of the results by calculation of the Bowman's Color Confusion Index (CCI), or of the Vingrys' and King Smith's Confusion Index (CI). Other advantages of D-15 d are the possibility to perform the test directly at the workplace, and the reproducibility when performed in standardized conditions. In most cases, occupation-related color vision impairment is correlated to exposure levels, and has often been observed in workers exposed to environmental concentrations below the current occupational limit proposed by the ACGIH. Progression with increasing cumulative exposure has been reported, while reversibility is still discussed. Acquired color vision impairment related to occupational exposure to styrene, perchloroethylene (PCE), toluene, carbon disufide, n-hexane, solvent mixtures, mercury and some other chemicals are discussed. Results show that color vision testing should be included in the evaluation of early neurotoxicity of chemicals in exposed workers. The D-15 d would be useful in the surveillance of workers exposed to solvents and other chemicals toxic to the visual system. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.
|Anno di pubblicazione:||2003|
|Titolo:||Color vision impairment in workers exposed to neurotoxic chemicals|
|Autori:||F. Gobba; A. Cavalleri|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Articolo su rivista|
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