Dose-Dependent Neurologic Abnormalities in Workers Exposed to 1-Bromopropane

This study is a polemic in response to Li et al. (J. Occup. Environ. Med., 2010, 52, 769-777). In their paper, Li et al. evaluated workplace exposures to 1-bromopropane at three separate manufacturing facilities in China. They reported that women are more susceptible than men and identified a lowest adverse effect level of 1.28 ppm in women on the basis of vibration sense in toes and red blood cell count. The authors argued that Li et al. evaluated 1-bromopropane exposures in three workplaces, where the mechanical controls are inadequate, and where personal protective equipments are either not used or fell woefully short of accepted practices, resulting in potentially higher levels of exposure than reported. Furthermore, Li et al.’s study evaluated a number of metrics subject to interobserver variability, but neither the researchers nor the research subjects are blinded, which calls into question the validity of the observer graded and self-reported measures. Lastly, the authors contended that Li et al. identified statistically significant changes in a number of endpoints, which they attributed to 1-bromopropane, but, no reference ranges are provided.

Authors: Smith, Carr J.; Johnson, Giffe T.; Harbison, Raymond D.; Zhu, Yiliang; Lee, Richard V.; Banasik, Marek; Stedeford, Todd ;Full Source: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2011, 53(7), 707-708 (Eng) ;