P300 brain potential among workers exposed to organic solvents

  • Bente E. Moen
  • Trond Riise
  • Knut Rasmus Kyvik




The P300 component of the auditory event-related brain potential was examined in a group of 11

workers exposed to low levels of organic solvents in a paint factory and 11 unexposed controls before

and after 3 weeks of summer vacation. The P300 latency time was found to be prolonged among the

exposed workers compared to the reference group before the summer vacation, and to be significantly

longer before the vacation than after in the exposed group.

The P300 component was also examined in a group of 85 seamen from chemical tankers, experiencing

peak exposures to organic solvents. They were compared to a reference group of unexposed

seamen. Comparing these two groups, no difference was found in the P300 latency time. No relationship

between the P300 latency time and exposure was found in a multiple regression analysis, including

the variables age, alcohol consumption, smoking and cerebral concussions.

The study indicates the occurrence of an acute biological effect in the nervous system related to

organic solvent exposure, expressed by prolonged P300 latency time. This was found at very low

exposure levels and should be studied further.


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Author Biography

Knut Rasmus Kyvik



How to Cite
Moen, B. E., Riise, T., & Kyvik, K. R. (2009). P300 brain potential among workers exposed to organic solvents. Norsk Epidemiologi, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.5324/nje.v9i1.439