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Neurotoxic effects of occupational solvent exposure

37 months
Approved budget:
Professor Neil Pearce
Health issue:
Occupational health
Proposal type:
Lay summary
Of those chemicals with established neurotoxic effects, solvents represent the greatest potential hazard in New Zealand with 100,000 workers potentially exposed. However, there has been little research into these occupational hazards in New Zealand to date. More specifically, no previous studies of spray painters have been done in New Zealand, and only a few have been done internationally. The objective of the study is to assess whether occupational solvent exposure in New Zealand spay painters is associated with neurological disorders. We will conduct exposure measurements and a questionnaire survey in 400 spray painters and 200 non-exposed workers. More detailed exposure measurements and objective neurobehavioural testing will be conducted in 75 spray painters with and 75 spray painters without symptoms. This study will assess the extent of neurological health effects that occur in the spray-painting industry in New Zealand and will inform the development of preventive interventions.