TABLE 7.2 Peripheral Neuropathy and Organophosphorous Insecticide Exposures




Health Outcome or Test Type




Savage et al., 1988

100 OP-poisoned workers (Colorado, Texas registries, 1950–1976) vs 100 nonpoisoned workers 7–11 years after last OP poisoning

OPs; methyl parathion, parathion account for 96 of 100 OP poisonings

Neurologic examination, 50 tests

Pair matching on age, sex, level of education, social class, occupational class, ethnic background (Hispanic)

No difference on neurologic exam except for one test of motor reflex; motor summary score nonsignificant


Steenland et al., 2000

191 termiticide applicators from North Carolina registry (including 105 current applicators and eight formerly poisoned) vs 189 nonexposed controls (106 friends of exposed and 83 state employees);

Median 1.8 years of exposure (1987–1997)

Chlorpyrifos, some chlordane (1987–1988)

Neurologic examination; nerve-conduction velocity; vibrotactile sensitivity of finger, toe via automated device; postural sway; arm, hand tremor via device

Regression: age, race, education, current smoking, body-mass index

Nerve-conduction velocity, tremor, vibration sensitivity nonsignificant; worse performance on postural sway

Possible selection bias due to inability to locate majority of exposed population; occupational solvent exposure a potential confounder for exposed, controls

Jamal et al., 2001

16 OP-poisoned sheep dippers in UK vs 16 sheep dippers with chronic low OP exposure and 16 controls; exposed for 4 years or more; 4 months since last exposure

Diazinon, propetamphos, clorfenvinphos

Clinical examination (scores for symptoms, tendon reflexes); nerve-conduction studies; needle EMG; thermal threshold; vibration threshold; central evoked potentials

Controls matched for age, sex

Significant differences between all groups in all end points except central evoked potentials; OP-poisoned performed significantly worse than OP chronic low-level, which performed worse than controls; increases in vibration, cold threshold

Selection bias in two exposed groups

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