Cardiovascular effects in viscose rayon workers exposed to carbon disulfide

Int J Occup Environ Health. Jan-Mar 2001;7(1):7-13. doi: 10.1179/107735201800339713.


The objectives of this study were to investigate the cardiovascular effects in workers currently exposed to carbon disulfide (CS2) below the threshold limit value (TLV) of 31 mg/m3 and to determine the prevalence of coronary heart disease (CHD) after long-term exposure. 172 men (91 workers exposed to CS2 in a viscose rayon factory and 81 referent workers) were examined using a medical and job history questionnaire, Rose's questionnaire, and electrocardiography at rest, and by measuring blood pressure and serum lipids and lipoproteins. Personal exposures were monitored simultaneously with active sampling and findings were analyzed according to the NIOSH 1600 method. As a result of technical and organizational improvements, personal CS2 exposures were well below the TLV (5.4-13.02 mg/m3). No significant effect of CS2 on blood pressure or lipids (total cholesterol, HDL and LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and apolipoproteins AI and B) was found, even after allowance for confounding factors. The prevalence of CHD (ECG abnormalities and chest pain) was higher in the viscose rayon workers than in the workers with no exposure but reached statistical significance for men with exposure histories often years and more only (cumulative CS9 index > or = 150 mg/m3, the most highly exposed group). The findings suggest that the coronary risk is increased in workers previously exposed to high CS2 concentrations but not in those exposed to CS2 levels below the current TLV.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Belgium / epidemiology
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Carbon Disulfide / adverse effects*
  • Cellulose
  • Coronary Disease / chemically induced*
  • Coronary Disease / diagnosis
  • Coronary Disease / epidemiology
  • Electrocardiography
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / chemically induced
  • Hyperlipidemias / diagnosis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Occupational Diseases / diagnosis
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Textiles*
  • Threshold Limit Values*


  • Cellulose
  • rayon, purified
  • Carbon Disulfide