SVIBOR - Project code: 3-01-129


Strossmayerov trg 4, HR - 10000 ZAGREB
tel.: +385 1 459 44 44, fax: +385 1 459 44 69


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Project code: 3-01-129

Organic Solvents - Biological Monitoring and Toxic Effects

Main researcher: MAJIĆ-PRPIĆ, DANICA (27410)

Type of research: basic
Duration from: 01/01/91. to 12/31/94.

Papers on project (total): 40
Papers on project quoted in Current Contents: 6
Institution name: Institut za medicinska istraživanja i medicinu rada, Zagreb (22)
Department/Institute: Clinical-Toxicological Laboratory
Address: Ksaverska cesta 2, P.P. 291
City: 10000 - Zagreb, Croatia
Phone: 385 (0)10 221573
Phone: 385 (0)10 214460
Fax: 385 (0)10 274572
Fax: 385 (0)10 221252

Summary: Within this project a study was conducted of human exposure to trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene which are frequent contaminants in the urban environment and a study of toluene neurotoxicity in humans and benzene haematotoxicity in humans and in experimental animals. The results of the study constitute a contribution to science through the following conclusions: trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene absorption in the general population under normal environmental conditions was confirmatively established with levels similar to those referred in Germany; in low toluene exposure, in spite of the general neurologic findings in normal range, the central nervous system impairment was proved measuring visual, cognitive and brain stem evoked potentials and through determination of the prevalence of acquired colour vision loss; in low benzene exposure, in addition to complete blood cell count including red cell indices, increased resistance to the hemolytical action of glycerol was found to be the appropriate test for detecting early benzene haematotoxicity and benzene in blood the appropriate biomarker of low-level benzene exposure. A cytogenetic study showed the prevalence of chromosome-type abberations (acentric fragments) and higher sister chromatid exchanges frequency in benzene exposed subjects. Through an experimental study it was demonstrated that the test for granulocyte reserves is useful in assessing haematotoxic effects in benzene poisoning. The results of the project have been published in 15 publications in scientific journals, 2 congress proceedings, 18 congress communications, 3 disertations and 1 master work.

Keywords: organic solvents, biological monitoring, trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, neurotoxicity, central nervous system impairment, electrocortical activity, evoked brain potentials, colour vision loss, haematotoxic effects, benzene, glycerol haemolysis time, bone marrow granulocyte reserve

Research goals: In this project the successful implementation of biological monitoring of exposure, the development of validated sensitive and specific neurologic tests identifying early signs of solvent neurotoxicity and the discovery of early indicators of solvent haematotoxicity were interrelated in three objectives. The first objective was to assess exposure of the general population to trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene under normal environmental conditions through biological monitoring. The second objective was to investigate central nervous system impairment in long term exposure to low levels of toluene verified by biological monitoring, by measurement of evoked brain potentials and a general neurologic examination. A test for the acquired colour vision loss (dyschromatopsia) as an indicator of solvent neural alterations was also planned. The third objective was related to the study of early indicators of benzene toxic effect on the haematopoietic system in low levels of exposure. An additional study was experimental, in which granulocyte response to glucocorticoid stimulation in chronic benzene poisoning was examined.

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Last update: 10/10/95