Occupational Asthma Reference

Paris C, Herin F, Penven E, Thaon I, Richard C, Jacquenet S, Barbaud A, Poussel M., First evidence of occupational asthma to argan powder in a cosmetic factory., Allergy, 2015;71:550-555,10.1111/all.12811

Keywords: Argan, cosmetic, BR, SIC, prick test, IgE, occupational asthma, OA. OR, rhinitis, hazelnut cross reactivity, Argania Spinosa, France, tree, new cause

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Argan is used worldwide in numerous cosmetic products, as this fruit is supposed to have many beneficial properties on health. New cases of allergy can be expected with the growing use of argan. We investigated all workers (9) employed by a cosmetic factory and exposed to argan powder to identify possible allergies related to exposure to argan powder.

Patients were investigated in the occupational disease department and, according to their symptoms, underwent pulmonary function testing, methacholine challenge, specific inhalation challenge to argan powder, skin prick tests and immunoblotting analysis.

We report three cases of occupational asthma to argan powder and a probable case of rhinitis. Fifteen argan proteins were recognized by the patients' IgE. Identification of proteins, cross-reactions to nuts and ELISA inhibition tests suggested that some argan allergens can cross-react in vitro with hazelnut allergens, including 11S globulin and vicilin.

CONCLUSION: High-level exposure to argan powder should be considered to be a potential cause of IgE-mediated allergy and workers handling argan powder should be carefully investigated.

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