Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Toxic Effects of Methanol among Illegally Dispatched Workers at Aluminum CNC cutting process in Small-scale 3rd tier Subcontractor Factories of Smartphone Manufacturers in the Republic of Korea

Version 1 : Received: 3 April 2018 / Approved: 3 April 2018 / Online: 3 April 2018 (16:11:15 CEST)

How to cite: Kang, C.W.; Kim, H.; Shin, K.S.; Rhu, J.; Jungchoi, K.; Lim, K.H.; Kim, J. Toxic Effects of Methanol among Illegally Dispatched Workers at Aluminum CNC cutting process in Small-scale 3rd tier Subcontractor Factories of Smartphone Manufacturers in the Republic of Korea. Preprints 2018, 2018040040 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201804.0040.v1). Kang, C.W.; Kim, H.; Shin, K.S.; Rhu, J.; Jungchoi, K.; Lim, K.H.; Kim, J. Toxic Effects of Methanol among Illegally Dispatched Workers at Aluminum CNC cutting process in Small-scale 3rd tier Subcontractor Factories of Smartphone Manufacturers in the Republic of Korea. Preprints 2018, 2018040040 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201804.0040.v1).

Abstract

An outbreak of occupational methanol poisoning occurred in small-scale 3rd tier factories of large-scale smartphone manufacturer, in the Republic of Korea, in 2016. To investigate the working environment and the health effect of the methanol exposure among co-workers of the methanol poisoning cases, we performed a cross sectional study on 155 workers at the five aluminum CNC cutting factories. Air and urinary methanol concentration were measured by gas chromatography, and health examination included symptoms, ophthalmological examinations and neurobehavioral tests. Multiple logistic regression analyses controlled for age and sex were conducted for revealing association of employment duration with symptoms. Air concentrations of methanol in factory A and E were ranged from 228.5 to 2220.0 ppm. Mean urinary methanol concentrations of the workers in each factory were from 3.5 mg/L up to 91.2 mg/L. The odds ratios for symptom of deteriorating vision and CNS increased, according to the employment duration, after adjusting for age and sex. Four cases with injured optic nerve and two cases with decreased neurobehavioral function were founded among co-workers of the victims. This study showed that the methanol exposure under poor environmental control not only produce eye and CNS symptoms but also affect neurobehavioral function and optic nerve.

Subject Areas

Methanol exposure; toxic effects; subcontractor manufacturing; dispatched workers; visual defect; neurobehavioral function

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