A printing worker suffered brain damage inhaling petrol fumes at work, a court heard yesterday. Ng Ngan-chui, 31, developed numb, shaky limbs from daily exposure to Shell 'white petrol' used to clean the presses, the Court of First Instance was told. He was diagnosed as suffering from peripheral neuropathy, a condition brought on by a toxic ingredient in the petrol. Mr Ng is suing Paramount Printing Company Limited for unspecified damages. The company is suing Shell Hong Kong Limited. Mr Ng began work at the Chai Wan factory in August 1990. He used the chemical solvent to clean the rollers and plastic sheets on the presses. It contained n-hexane, an ingredient known to be harmful upon inhalation or contact with skin, the court heard. Mr Ng is said to have inhaled large amounts of its vapour for about 12 hours a day. In March 1991, he noticed that his limbs had become numb and weak. He developed dizziness and blurred vision, the court was told. Mr Ng then weakened to the point where he could no longer climb stairs without using handrails. He walked slowly and with a limp. A lengthy convalescence and physiotherapy helped, but his recovery was said to have stopped in 1992. Mr Ng blames his employers for storing the solvent in open containers. The factory windows should have been opened to allow the fumes to disperse, the court was told. The case, before Mr Justice Arjan Sakhrani, is continuing.