Severe hypersensitivity dermatitis and liver dysfunction induced by occupational exposure to trichloroethylene.
Trichloroethylene-induced hypersensitivity dermatitis is one of the serious occupational health events in China, however, little is known about the clinical features and possible mechanism of this disorder. The objective of the present study was to report some typical trichloroethylene-induced dermatitis patients and investigate their occupational exposure as well as the clinical features. We sampled and tested some cleaning agents from the companies where TCE-induced skin disorder occurred, the trichloroethylene concentrations were also monitored in the workplace air. Additionally, the symptoms, signs and laboratory test results of patients were collected. TCE concentrations varied from 10.2% to 91.4% in the cleaning agent by gas chromatography-mass chromatography analysis, and TCE levels in the workplace air ranged between 18 mg/m(3) and 683 mg/m(3), at most sampled sites TCE levels were higher than China national health standard for TCE. The trichloroethylene exposure time of the patients was 5-90 days (average 38.2 d), the patients with headache, dizziness, skin itch, fever were 90.5%, 100%, 100%, and 61.9%, respectively. 85.7% patients had skin erythema, 90.5% with rashes, and 38.1% with blisters. In addition, liver enlargement occurred in 3 patients, the abnormal rate of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), total bilirubin (T-Bil) were 90.5%, 85.7% and 76.2%, respectively. 6 out of 15 patients were with abnormal electrocardiogram, and trichloroacetic acid (TCA) elevated in 14 patients (66.7%). Taken together, the major detrimental effect of trichloroethylene was to induce hypersensitivity dermatitis and liver dysfunction, the occurrence of this disorder is likely related to the individual hypersensitivity to trichloroethylene exposure.