Navigation Links
Long-lasting sensory loss in WTC workers
Date:5/17/2010

PHILADELPHIA (May 18, 2010) -- New research from the Monell Center and collaborating institutions reports that workers exposed to the complex mixture of toxic airborne chemicals following the 9/11 disaster had a decreased ability to detect odors and irritants two years after the exposure.

"The nose performs many sensory functions that are critical for human health and safety," said lead author Pamela Dalton, PhD, MPH, an environmental psychologist at Monell. "The sensory system that detects irritants is the first line of defense to protect the lungs against airborne toxic chemicals. The loss of the ability of the nose to respond to a strong irritant means that the reflexes that protect the lungs from toxic exposures will not be triggered."

Individuals involved in rescue, recovery, demolition and clean-up at the World Trade Center (WTC) were exposed to a complex mixture of smoke, dust, fumes, and gases. In the study, reported online in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, Dalton and collaborators studied 102 individuals who worked or volunteered at the WTC site on 9/11 and during the days and weeks afterward to determine whether this exposure affected their ability to detect odors and irritants.

Forty-four percent of the workers reported being in lower Manhattan on 9/11 and 97 percent worked on the site during the week after the buildings' collapse.

Two years after the exposure, the WTC workers had decreased sensitivity to odors and irritants as compared to similar workers with no WTC exposure. Twenty-two percent of the WTC workers had a diminished ability to detect odors and nearly 75 percent had an impaired ability to detect irritants.

Workers exposed to the dust cloud immediately after the buildings' collapse had the most extreme loss of sensitivity to irritants, with an almost complete inability to detect the nasal irritant used in the study.

Almost none of the individuals tested recognized that their ability to detect odors and irritants was compromised.

Health screenings of WTC workers had documented the effects of inhaled exposure on the lungs and respiratory function, but little was known about the impact on sensory systems of the nose. These sensory systems include the olfactory system, which detects odors, and the somatosensory system, responsible for detecting irritants, chemicals that cause pain, tingling, burning, stinging, or prickling.

The inability to detect irritants and odors is a critical safety concern, especially since the workers were not aware of their impairment.

"Odors also serve a protective function, such as the ability to identify smoke from a fire, leaking gas, or spoiled food," said Dalton.

The authors suggest that the ability to smell and detect irritants should be evaluated regularly in WTC responders and other workers having pollutant exposures.

Future studies will attempt to follow the workers to assess recovery and identify factors associated with more complete recovery.


'/>"/>

Contact: Leslie Stein
stein@monell.org
267-519-4707
Monell Chemical Senses Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Effects of TV, Drug Exposures in Early Life May Be Long-Lasting
2. EASe Funhouse Video Game Helps Children with Autism Learn to Improve Sensory Processing
3. Product Innovators Launch Unique Sensory Tool for Special Needs Youth
4. Workers Fear Stigma of Seeking Mental Health Care
5. Consumer Watchdog Releases Coercive Lobbying E-Mail to Employees of United Health Group, Calls It Political Harassment of Workers
6. Kaiser Workers Vote to Join NUHW, Reject SEIU in Three Elections
7. 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East Donates $1 Million to UNICEF for Haiti Earthquake Emergency Relief
8. InsureMyTrip.com and HCC Medical Insurance Services Join Forces to Protect Haiti-Bound Relief Workers
9. Health Reform Tax Changes: Good Progress for Workers; Union to Keep Working for Better Bill
10. Philadelphia Red Cross Blood Workers Strike to Protect Donor and Blood Safety
11. Labor Board OKs 2,300 Kaiser Professionals to Quit SEIU and Join National Union of Healthcare Workers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/23/2017)... ... January 23, 2017 , ... ... institution’s inaugural K-20 Education Summit to be held March 23-25, 2017 in Tampa, ... Jan. 25, 2017. , The keynote speakers include Dr. Michelle R. Weise, executive ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... ... ... Wooden and plastic balance boards have been around since at least the 1950s and are ... the first and only balance board to use a patent-pending design featuring high-pressure inflation technology ... time as well as skill-level adjustable for all ages and abilities. The board can ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... SC (PRWEB) , ... January 23, 2017 , ... ... is the premiere organization in North America for the scientific development, healthcare training ... 2017 Annual Scientific Session, and its 2017 AAT Member Certification Qualification Courses for ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... ... January 23, 2017 , ... Moisture ... choosing the right method is paramount to success. Selecting an inappropriate measurement method ... where multiple persons use the same equipment. Rare or expensive substances are wasted ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... ... January 23, 2017 , ... Old School Labs™, makers ... Mr. Olympia Classic Physique bodybuilder Breon Ansley to its growing team of brand ambassadors. ... bodybuilder in 2012 and in less than a year was able to turn professional, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/23/2017)... 2017 NeuroVive Pharmaceutical AB (Nasdaq Stockholm: ... preclinical collaboration agreement with the Children,s Hospital of ... M.D., a US key opinion leader in the mitochondrial medicine ... ... from NeuroVive,s research program, NVP015, in certain experimental disease models. ...
(Date:1/21/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... Test (Tumor, Clinical Chemistry, Microbiology, Esoteric), By Type of Lab ... Cancer, HIV/AIDS etc.), Forecast to 2022" report to their ... ... especially clinical lab testing, which has evolved as a major ...
(Date:1/21/2017)... CAMBRIDGE, Mass. , Jan. 20, 2017 ... the Keystone Symposia Conference, "PI3K Pathways in ... Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: INFI ... oral immuno-oncology development candidate that selectively inhibits ... is able to help overcome resistance to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: