A review of recent research on health effects of human occupational exposure to organic solvents. A critical review

J Occup Med. 1994 Oct;36(10):1079-92. doi: 10.1097/00043764-199410000-00010.


The health impact of workplace solvent exposure remains an issue of substantial interest and concern to occupational health professionals. As a result of research performed in the 1970s and 1980s, policies and programs were developed throughout the world to control excessive exposure to solvents. To an extent, these programs have been responsible for reduction of the occurrence of solvent-associated encephalopathy and other health effects. In this review of research performed since 1985, particular attention is given to issues of reversibility of neurotoxicity following exposure cessation. Furthermore, health effects involving other organ systems, particularly reproductive, renal, and hepatic disorders, are discussed. Future research directions are discussed. Finally, the practical implications of these recent research findings are described with a focus on the management of prevention programs at the work site.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Central Nervous System / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / chemically induced
  • Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Reproduction / drug effects
  • Solvents / adverse effects*
  • Solvents / toxicity


  • Solvents