American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Effects of Pollutant Diesel Fuels on Neurobehavioral Performance among Workers in Locomotive Depot

Anuar Ithnin, Radiah Abu Hasan Shaari, Mazrura Sahani, Anuar Mohd Mokhtar, Azhar Abdul Halim and Normah Awang

DOI : 10.3844/ajessp.2011.248.253

American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 7, Issue 3

Pages 248-253


Problem statement: Diesel fuel contains various combinations of hydrocarbons such as cyclohexane, n-hexane, benzene and toluene which can cause health problems in major exposure of that pollutant in locomotive depots. Studies were conducted to evaluate the exposure towards diesel fuel pollutant and the effect on neurobehavioral performances among workers in locomotive depots. Approach: Method used was questionnaire form and neurobehavioral performances were measured by WHO NCTB test among 17 exposure workers and 17 control workers. Air pollutant measurement was carried out by GilAir Sampler Low flow pump and analyzed using NMAM method 1500 and 1501. Measured diesel fuel pollutant are Total Volatile Organic Compound (TVOC), cyclohexane, n-hexane, benzene and toluene in three sampling point which are Power Generator Car (PGC), Locomotive (LOCO), producer and receiver of diesel fuel (PPD). Impact assessment NCTB neurobehavioral was carried out. Results: Measured result showed that overall mean of concentration for Total Volatile Organic Compound (TVOC) was respectively 1.93±0.70 ppm, 1.05±0.19 ppm and 1.01±0.17 ppm in PGC, Loco and PPD. Average concentration of cyclohexane, n-hexane, benzene and toluene at PGC, Loco, PPD was respectively 0.11±0.02, 0.01±0.01, 0.15±0.07, 0.02±0.00, 0.01±0.00, 0.01±0.00, 0.05±0.01, 0.03±0.00, 0.06±0.03, 0.10±0.08, 0.06±0.03, 0.10±0.06. All the pollutants measured did not exceed the permissible level based on USECHH 2000. Test for neurobehavioral performance between exposed workers and control showed there are significant difference for SA test non preferred hand (p = 0.03, p< 0.05) and test PAT1 (p = 0.01, p< 0.05). There are significant relationship between NCTB test such as BVR, SA1, SA2 and PAT1 compared to the factor of age, service period and educational level. Conclusion: This study showed that there are significant correlation between cyclohexane concentration with SA 3 (both sides of hand) with value r = -0.53, p<0.05 and benzene with DS test, SA 1 (dominant hand), SA 3(both sides of hand) and respectively with value r = -0.57,- 0.54, -0.64, p<0.05. It can be concluded that exposed workers towards diesel pollutant in locomotive industry affect the neurobehavioral performances which correlate the hand-eye coordination of cognitive function, speed stimulation of motor nerve, visual and memory.


© 2011 Anuar Ithnin, Radiah Abu Hasan Shaari, Mazrura Sahani, Anuar Mohd Mokhtar, Azhar Abdul Halim and Normah Awang. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.