Navigation Links
Education May Protect Brain From Exposure to Solvents

TUESDAY, May 29 (HealthDay News) -- People with less than a high school education who work with solvents may have problems with their thinking skills later in life, according to a study of people in France.

In the study, researchers from Harvard University noted that people with more education did not experience the same types of issues with their thinking, or so-called "cognitive," skills, even if they had the same amount of exposure to these chemicals.

"People with more education may have a greater cognitive reserve that acts like a buffer, allowing the brain to maintain its ability to function in spite of damage," study author Lisa Berkman, of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., said in news release from the American Academy of Neurology. "This may be because education helps build up a dense network of connections among brain cells."

In conducting the study, the investigators followed more than 4,100 people who worked at the French national gas and electric company. While working at the company, the participants were exposed to four types of solvents: chlorinated solvents, petroleum solvents, benzene and non-benzene aromatic solvents.

The researchers assessed the workers' lifetime exposure to these solvents and tested their thinking skills when they were an average of 59 years old. By this time, 91 percent of the study participants were retired.

Most of those studied worked at the company for their entire career and 58 percent had less than a high school education. Of those without a high school diploma, the study revealed 32 percent had problems with their thinking skills. In contrast, only 16 percent of those with more education had similar thinking problems, the findings showed.

The study, published in the May 29 issue of Neurology, also found that high levels of exposure to chlorinated and petroleum solvents was associated with 14 percent greater risk for thinking problems among the less-educated workers, compared to their peers with no exposure.

Moreover, the less-educated workers with a high level of exposure to benzene were 24 percent more likely to have problems with their thinking skills, and those with significant exposure to non-benzene aromatic solvents were 36 percent more likely to have such problems.

"These findings suggest that efforts to improve quality and quantity of education early in life could help protect people's cognitive abilities later in life," Berkman said. "Investment in education could serve as a broad shield against both known and unknown exposures across the lifetime. This is especially important given that some evidence shows that federal levels of permissible exposure for some solvents may be insufficient to protect workers against the health consequences of exposure."

While the study uncovered an association between education level, solvent exposure and thinking skills, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

More information

The U.S. Department of Labor has more about the health effects of exposure to solvents.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: American Academy of Neurology, news release, May 28, 2012

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Physical Education Is Good for Kids Grades, Study Finds
2. Education Is Key to Health: Report
3. National initiative launched to change the way biology departments approach undergraduate education
4. A Little More Education, a Little Longer Life?
5. Better ethics education needed in community-based research
6. Study finds that patient education videos viewed before an operation may benefit patients
7. For youth sexting: Public supports education, not criminal charges
8. Psychiatry program garners national education award
9. Meeting to outline effective education about aging as Americas senior population grows
10. The Association for Gerontology in Higher Education honors new officers, fellow, awardees
11. Impoverished schools, parent education key factors in student weight
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Education May Protect Brain From Exposure to Solvents
(Date:11/27/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... contact center software Q-Suite, announces the incorporation of Asterisk 11 LTS (Long Term ... fully supported Asterisk 11 LTS brings Q-Suite 5.10 up-to-date with a version of ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Inevitably when people think Thanksgiving, they also ... buy during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday massage chair sales to ... Internet high and low to find the best massage chair deals, they can see ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... Express Travel Representative. As a franchise owner, Somu now offers travelers, value and ... destination wedding packages, private cruise sales, as well as, cabin upgrades and special ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Jobs in hospital medical laboratories and ... offered by healthcare staffing agency Aureus Medical Group . These fields, ... 2015 among those searching for healthcare jobs through the company’s website, ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... opinion process, participated in the 61st annual Employee Benefits Conference. The Employee Benefits ... place Sunday, November 8th through Wednesday, November 11th, 2015. The conference was held ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... DUBLIN , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the "Global ... to their offering. --> ... "Global Brain Monitoring Devices Market 2015-2019" ... Research and Markets ( ) ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), ... the March of Dimes cheered today,s signature into ... Act of 2015 (S.799), which takes much-needed ... exposed to drugs, such as opioids, and to ... three organizations have worked together leading advocacy efforts ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... On Tuesday, November 24, 2015, the ... Wright Medical Technology, Inc. for product liability and ... implant device, awarded $11 million in favor of ... and three days of deliberations, the jury found ... designed and unreasonably dangerous, and that Wright Medical ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: