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April 5, 1976

MBK Neuropathy Among Spray Painters

Author Affiliations

From the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Field Studies and Clinical Investigations, Cincinnati. Dr Mallov is now with the Department of Medicine, Montefiore-University of Pittsburgh Hospital.

JAMA. 1976;235(14):1455-1457. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260400021020

It has been suggested that the solvent methyl N-butyl ketone (MBK) may cause peripheral neuropathy in humans. An Investigation was undertaken after two cases of peripheral neuropathy among spray painters at one work site were reported to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Twenty-six painters were interviewed and examined. Two were found to have definite peripheral neuropathy and one had a probable case. Although one of these men had been exposed to lead in the past, there are strong reasons to believe that MBK was responsible for his neuropathy. There was nothing to suggest excessive lead absorption in the other two men.

(JAMA 235:1455-1457, 1976)