Reports of injury began after the introduction of chlorinated solvents in the 1920s. In 1987, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reported that 9.8 million workers were exposed to organic solvents in occupational settings, with most of these exposures being to mixtures of solvents. Although solvent mixtures have been noted to be responsible for neuropathy, seizures, and encephalopathy, identifying the culpable agent has been difficult, because the associations between many solvents and their biologic effects have not been well defined, and solvent interaction in mixtures have not been well or easily characterized. In some cases, these exposures have been estimated to be below levels designated in regulations as acceptable for workers.
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