Sensory eye irritation in humans exposed to mixtures of volatile organic compounds

Arch Environ Health. Nov-Dec 1999;54(6):416-24. doi: 10.1080/00039899909603373.


Eight subjects participated in a controlled eyes-only exposure study of human sensory irritation in ocular mucosal tissue. The authors investigated dose-response properties and the additive effects of three mixtures of volatile organic compounds. The dose-response relationships for these mixtures showed increases in response intensity as concentration increased. Replication of exposure did not result in significantly different dose- response relationships. Moreover, the result implied that components of the three mixtures interacted additively to produce ocular irritation, a result referred to as simple agonism. Finally, the authors addressed the comparability of two methods to measure sensory irritation intensity (visual analogue scale and a comparative scale). The results indicated that the two rating methods produced highly comparable results.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Eye / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Irritants / administration & dosage
  • Irritants / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organic Chemicals / administration & dosage
  • Organic Chemicals / adverse effects*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Sensation
  • Volatilization


  • Air Pollutants
  • Irritants
  • Organic Chemicals