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Occupational co-exposure to biomechanical factors and neurotoxic chemicals in a representative sample of French employees

Abstract : Objectives: Musculoskeletal disorders, mainly carpal tunnel syndrome, represent a leading cause of compensation claims of workers worldwide. Despite this, and the fact that occupational exposures to biomechanical factors and neurotoxic chemicals have been individually associated with peripheral nerve damage, the prevalence of occupational co-exposure to biomechanical factors and neurotoxic chemicals has rarely been explored. Therefore, our aim was to assess the prevalence of occupational co-exposure to biomechanical factors and neurotoxic chemicals in a national representative sample of the French working population. Methods: The study was based on the French representative cross-sectional survey SUMER 2010. A total of 47 983 employees who had worked in their current job for at least one year were included. Occupational exposure to biomechanical factors and neurotoxic chemicals within the previous week of work were assessed using a questionnaire during face-to-face interviews with occupational physicians. Results: Approximately 5% of male employees and 1% of female employees were co-exposed to biomechanical factors and neurotoxic chemicals. This prevalence was up to 10% among male blue-collar workers and 13%, 8%, and 6%, respectively, among male employees in the construction, agriculture, and industry sectors. Male employees under 30 years old, in apprenticeships, and working in small companies were more co-exposed to biomechanical factors and neurotoxic chemicals than their counterparts. Conclusions: Occupational co-exposure to biomechanical factors and neurotoxic chemicals was observed in a significant proportion of French male employees, suggesting that further studies are required to investigate its potential adverse effects on peripheral neuropathies.
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Mélanie Bertin, Thi-Hai-Yen Nguyen, Nathalie Bonvallot, Julie Bodin, Yves Roquelaure. Occupational co-exposure to biomechanical factors and neurotoxic chemicals in a representative sample of French employees. Journal of Occupational Health, Japan Society for Occupational Health, 2020, 62 (1), pp.e12090. ⟨10.1002/1348-9585.12090⟩. ⟨hal-02391711⟩

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