To disclose the effects of chromium (Cr) on olfactory function, olfactory threshold tests were conducted on 27 male plating workers (Cr workers) with signs and symptoms of olfactory irritation but without nasal septum perforation or ulcer and on 34 male control subjects in Korean plating factories. The Cr workers had been exposed to Cr fume for 0.9 to 18.2 (mean 7.9) years; their blood Cr concentrations (0.16-3.69, mean 1.29 μg/dl) were significantly higher than those of the 34 control subjects (0.04-1.95, mean 0.55 μg/dl). Scores on recognition thresholds among the Cr workers were significantly higher than those of the control subjects (p<0.05) and related positively and significantly to the exposure periods of the 27 Cr workers (p<0.05). Olfactory thresholds were not significantly different between the Cr workers with and without nasal signs or symptoms, except that the scores on the recognition threshold were significantly higher in those experiencing difficulty with smell (p<0.05). It is suggested that olfactory threshold is affected by Cr without development of nasal septum perforation or ulceration.
- Nasal septum
- Olfactory threshold
- Plating factory workers
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis