Neurobehavioral and respiratory symptoms of formaldehyde and xylene exposure in histology technicians

Arch Environ Health. 1985 Jul-Aug;40(4):229-33. doi: 10.1080/00039896.1985.10545924.


Disturbances of memory, mood, equilibrium, and sleep that occurred simultaneously with headache and indigestion, were experienced more frequently among women working in histology who had daily exposure to formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene than in unexposed female clerical workers working in the same hospitals. Neurobehavioral symptoms were accompanied by irritation of eyes, upper airways, and trachea. Formaldehyde exposure correlated better with neurobehavioral symptoms and with respiratory and mucous membrane symptoms than did exposure to xylene/toluene or to other agents.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavior / drug effects*
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Emotions / drug effects
  • Female
  • Formaldehyde / toxicity*
  • Histology*
  • Humans
  • Memory / drug effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Respiration Disorders / chemically induced*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / chemically induced
  • Xylenes / toxicity*


  • Xylenes
  • Formaldehyde