Personality and long term exposure to organic solvents

Neurobehav Toxicol. Summer 1980;2(2):89-100.


Personality, especially emotional reactions of two solvent exposed groups and a nonexposed reference group were described by means of 20 formal, content and check-list type of Rorschach variables. Another objective of the study was to explore the suitability and psychological meaning of other types of Rorschach variables than those applied earlier in the field of behavioral toxicology. The factor analyses grouped the applied variables into factors of Productivity, Ego Strength, Control of Emotionality, Defensive Introversion and Aggressiveness. One solvent group, a patient groups (N=53), was characterized by a high number of Organic signs and a low Genetic Level, indicating possible psychoorganic deterioration. The other solvent group, styrene exposed but subjectively healthy (N=98), was characterized by few emotional reactions, low Anxiety and a low number of Neurotic Signs. the long duration of exposure of the solvent patient group (mean 10.2 +/- 8.7 years) was related to variables of the Productivity factor, a finding that indicates a possible better adjustment of those exposed for a longer time. The duration of exposure of the styrene exposed group (mean 4.9 +/- 3.2 years) revealed a very slight relation to personality variables, but the mean urinary mandelic acid concentration, indicating the level of styrene exposure, correlated with increased emotional reactions. For the most part definite causal conclusions could not be drawn because of the cross-sectional design of the study.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Emotions / drug effects
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / chemically induced
  • Occupational Diseases / psychology*
  • Personality / drug effects*
  • Rorschach Test
  • Solvents / adverse effects*
  • Styrenes / adverse effects*
  • Time Factors


  • Solvents
  • Styrenes