Review of Tests Assessing Neurologic Function in Persons Exposed to Jet Fuels

This appendix described four types of tests that have been used to assess the neurotoxicity potential of jet-propulsion fuel 8 and related fuels in humans: clinical neurological examinations, posturograms, nerve conduction studies, vibration sensation studies, and blink reflex classical conditioning studies. For each test, a critical analysis of its use in assessing neurotoxicity from exposure to jet fuels is presented. Limitations of these tests are also presented.


Neurological examinations of 29 aircraft factory workers chronically exposed to jet fuel vapors revealed findings consistent with central and peripheral nervous system involvement (Knave et al. 1976). The exposed subjects were classified into two groups: heavily exposed (n = 13) and less heavily exposed (n = 16). Subjects from both groups (all of the heavily exposed workers and 7 of the 16 less heavily exposed workers) reported having repeatedly experienced acute effects of jet fuel exposure such as dizziness, headache, nausea, respiratory tract symptoms, heart palpitations, and a feeling of pressure on the chest. Symptoms indicative of peripheral neuropathy included muscle cramps, distal paresthesias, numbness, and paresis. Signs indicative of peripheral neuropathy on clinical neurological examination included re-

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement