Sixty-five operations workers (all males) in an electrolytic aluminum production facility were divided into two groups. The first group of 37 was employed for more than 5 years, and the second group of 28 for 5 years or less. These men had no history of liver, kidney, or immune-related disease. X-ray tests indicated that they were not suffering from occupational fluorosis (according to the standards of GB3234-82). For controls, 52 males from the service departments with no history of exposure to fluoride were used as controls. Neurobehavioral function of the long-exposure group measured by the neurobehavioral core test battery (NCTB) revealed, with the exception of the Benton visual retention measurement, diminished performance for every testing index as compared to the controls. Even the scores for emotional state of the short exposure group were markedly lower than for the control. By relating these test results to fluoride exposure, our study demonstrated various effects of occupational fluoride exposure on the central nervous system, thereby providing early warning indicators that can be used to protect the health of workers who have occupational contact with fluoride.
Translated by Julian Brooke for Fluoride Action Network and published with the concurrence of Industrial Health and Occupational Diseases 2001;27(6):346-8 in the journal Fluoride.