Author(s): van Vliet C, Swaen GM, Volovics A, Tweehuysen M, Meijers JM
This case-control study was undertaken to determine whether exposure to organic solvents, as experienced by Dutch painters, causes an increased risk of disability due to neuropsychiatric disorders. Cases and controls were selected from the Dutch Painters' and Construction Workers' Organizations. Cases were defined as male persons receiving disability benefits due to neuropsychiatric disorders. The controls consisted of a random sample of 1000 male persons from the total study population. Cases (n = 252) and controls (n = 822) participated in our study by returning the completed questionnaires. The questionnaire was used to collect information about occupational history and the presence of potentially confounding factors. The adjusted Odds Ratio for the total group of neuropsychiatric disorders did not reach a statistically significant level (OR = 1.17; P less than 0.30). Although a stronger association was suggested between "neuroses" (ICD 300) and exposure to organic solvents (OR = 2.30; P less than 0.05), there are indications that this relationship is merely the result of classification bias. The results of this study do not confirm, but also do not completely exclude, that Dutch painters are at increased risk of being prematurely disabled due to neuropsychiatric disorders.