Vihlborg P, Graff P, Hagenbjörk A, Hadrévi J, Bryngelsson IL, Eriksson K
J Occup Environ Med 62 (7) 460-465 [2020-07-00; online 2020-07-31]
To investigate whether low molecular organic biomarkers could be identified in blood samples from vibration exposed workers using a metabolomics. The study population consisted of 38 metalworkers. All participants underwent a standardized medical examination. Blood samples were collected before and after work shift and analyzed with gas chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Multivariate modeling (orthogonal partial least-squares analysis with discriminant analysis [OPLS-DA]) were used to verify differences in metabolic profiles. Twenty-two study participants reported vascular symptoms judged as vibration-related. The metabolic profile from participants with vibration-induced white fingers (VWF) was distinctly separated from participants without VWF, both before and after vibration exposure. Metabolites that differed between the groups were identified both before and after exposure. Some of these metabolites might be indicators of health effects from exposure to vibrations. This is the first time that a metabolomic approach has been used in workers exposed to vibrations.