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Electroretinograph and clinical observations of workers employed in the manufacture of synthetic rubber from chloroprene



Electroretinograph and clinical observations of workers employed in the manufacture of synthetic rubber from chloroprene



Izvest Akad Nauk Armyansk Ssr Biol Nauk 16(4): 19-26



The electroretinograms of workers in various departments of a chloroprene synthetic rubber plant showed a decrease in the amplitude of the B wave (2.75-4.75 mm) compared to that of a control group of machine shop workers (6-8 mm), indicating a deterioration in the functional state of the retina. Clinical examination revealed pronounced ophthalmological changes in cleaners, distillers and roller press workers, while none were noted in laboratory workers, 1 group of equipment operators, and the control group. The lability (ability of the retina to distinguish flashes of light) varied from 32.3 oscillations/second (cleaners and distillers) to 36.69 oscillations/ second (laboratory workers) for the cone region, and 22.47-29.12 oscillations/second in the peripheral region for laboratory workers and equipment operators respectively. Adaptometry tests (i.e. dark adaptation tests) gave sensitivity threshold curves for chloroprene workers that were depressed or wavy when compared to a standard curve; this was attributed to disturbance of the rod function, the "result of marked vitamin A deficiency in the visual pigment" (Lapina, Dowling and Wall). Administration of vitamin C (total dosage 80-85 gm/worker) produced marked subjective improvement and raised electroretinogram results to 3.5-5 mm amplitude and 0.108-0.166 second wave length (previous values 0.063-0.075 second; control 0.063 second), but the adaptometry curves showed no improvement; the author concluded that vitamin C administration gave no effective results.

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