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Sangyo eiseigaku zasshi = Journal of occupational health

[Stevens-Johnson syndrome accompanied by acute hepatitis in workers exposed to trichloroethylene or tetrachloroethylene].


PMID 11993231

Abstract

Since the late 1980s, there has been an increasing tendency in the number of case reports on Stevens-Johnson syndrome accompanied by acute hepatitis in workers exposed to trichloroethylene from Asian countries. Recently, mass outbreaks of it have been disclosed in the Philippines and China. Besides trichloroethylene, although the number is small, a similar health disorder has also occurred in workers using tetrachloroethylene. Since the above-mentioned facts are not yet well recognized in the occupational health community, this review is aimed at making clear (1) the clinical features of the health disorder, (2) details of patients' jobs, working environments, and exposure to hazardous chemicals, and (3) the relationship between exposure to trichloroethylene or tetrachloroethylene and the health disorder. Based on a critical review of articles, the following were pointed out. First, it is important to carefully observe the health status of workers exposed to trichloroethylene or tetrachloroethylene and to take countermeasures to reduce exposure. Secondly, circumstantial evidence suggests a cause-effect relationship between the two chemicals and the health disorder; but at the present time it is impossible to rule out the participation of unelucidated factors promoting the occurrence of the health disorder or the existence of a hidden genuine causative substance. Therefore further investigation to trace such a case is needed. Thirdly, the mechanism of the health disorder and the reason why there seems to be a large inter-individual difference in sensitivity to the causative agent should be clarified.