Facial Nerve Palsy After Acute Exposure to Dichloromethane

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BackgroundDichloromethane poisoning affects predominantly the central nervous and the cardiovascular systems, and results from both carboxyhemoglobin formation and direct solvent-related narcosis. Exposure is frequently occupational and related to paintstripping. Several reports have described severe adverse effects as well as fatalities. Conflicting reports regarding peripheral nerve toxicity have been found with no reports of clinical acute toxicity heretofore.MethodsWe present a case report of a patient who developed a facial nerve palsy after acute occupational exposure to Dichloromethane. The patient was part of a paint removing crew who have worked without proper protecting measures and were thus exposed to high levels of Dichoromethane.ResultsThe patient was involved in paint stripping with Dichloromethane, and developed facial nerve palsy. Other known causes of facial palsy were excluded, and although idiopathic palsy cannot be ruled out, there were no corroborating findings. Carboxyhemoglobin levels taken after a significant delay were normal.ConclusionThis is the first article that describes a case of Facial Nerve Palsy related to acute dichloromethane exposure, indicating a possible peripheral neurotoxic effect of this solvent. Am. J. Ind. Med. 48:389-392, 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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