Introduction: Based on the assumption that professional groups with frequent chemical exposure are at an increased risk for developing Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), a sample of 45 professional pest controllers was investigated.
Methods: The examination of the pest controllers consisted of a physical and laboratory examination with urine screening for pyrethroid metabolites, a psychiatric interview, a neuropsychological test battery, and a chemical sensitivity questionnaire.
Results: Persistent or serious work related health problems and chemical sensitivity were not reported. In urine, cis-3-(2,2-dibromovinyl)-2,2-dimethylcyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (Br(2)CA) was detected in 11%, 4-fluoro-3-phenoxybenzoic acid (F-PBA) in 7%. 3-phenoxybenzoic acid (3-PBA) exceeded the reference range in 9%, cis- and trans-3-(2,2-dichlorovinyl)-2,2-dimethyl-cyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (Cl(2)CA) in 20%. Increased liver enzymes and blood count deviations were rather common. 38% had psychiatric disorders. With few exceptions, neuropsychological testing results were normal.
Conclusions: The results do not support the hypothesis that work-related insecticide exposure promotes chemical sensitivity.