The effect of exposure to industrial metals on sensory perception of workers has received only modest interest from the medical community to date. Nevertheless, some experimental and epidemiological data exist showing that industrial metals can affect vision, hearing and olfactory function, and a similar effect is also suggested for touch and taste. In this review the main industrial metals involved are discussed. An important limit in available knowledge is that, to date, the number of chemicals studied is relatively small. Another is that the large majority of the studies have evaluated the effect of a single chemical on a single sense. As an example, we know that mercury can impair hearing, smell, taste, touch and also vision, but we have scant idea if, in the same worker, a relation exists between impairments in different senses, or if impairments are independent. Moreover, workers are frequently exposed to different chemicals; a few available results suggest that a co-exposure may have no effect, or result in both an increase and a decrease of the effect, as observed for hearing loss, but this aspect certainly deserves much more study. As a conclusion, exposure to industrial metals can affect sensory perception, but knowledge of this effect is yet incomplete, and is largely inadequate especially for an estimation of "safe" thresholds of exposure. These data support the desirability of further good quality studies in this field.
|Anno di pubblicazione:||2003|
|Titolo:||SENSORY PERCEPTION: AN OVERLOOKED TARGET OF OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE TO TOXIC METALS.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Articolo su rivista|
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