Occupational Asthma Reference

Olivieri M, Murgia N, Spiteri G, Biscardo CA, Marchetti P, Folletti I, Verlato G, Exposure to additives or multigrain flour is associated with high risk of work-related allergic symptoms among bakers, Occup Environ Med, 2021;78:112-116,http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/oemed-2019-106052

Keywords: Italy, baker, multigrain, enzymes, questionnaire

Known Authors

Ilenia Folletti, Perugia Ilenia Folletti

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Abstract

Objectives
Wheat flour exposure in bakers can elicit respiratory and skin symptoms. Scarce data are available on the prevalence of such conditions in bakers. We investigated the prevalence of work-related rhinitis, asthma-like symptoms and dermatitis in bakers according to job task and type of allergens involved.

Methods
Of the 229 traditional bakeries in Verona area who were invited to participate in a cross-sectional survey, 211 (92%) accepted; 727 employees in these bakeries answered a modified version of a questionnaire on job tasks; allergen exposure within the bakery; and work-related nasal, asthma-like and skin symptoms during 2010–2014. Determinants of work-related nasal, asthma-like or skin disorders were separately evaluated using different logistic models.

Results
The prevalence of work-related nasal and asthma-like symptoms was, respectively, 15.1% and 4.2% in bakery shop assistants, increasing to 25.7% and 9.5% in bakers using only wheat flour, and further to 31.8% and 13.6% in bakers using flour and additives, and then to 34.1% and 18.2% in bakers using flour with additives and multigrain (p<0.001). The risk of work-related asthma-like symptoms was more than doubled in bakers using additives without or with multigrain than in shop assistants (OR 2.3, 95%?CI 1.0 to 5.5 and OR 3.4, 95%?CI 1.1 to 10.8, respectively). Making bread with additives alone or with multigrain significantly increased the risk of work-related nasal symptoms in shop assistants, while the risk of skin symptoms was not significantly affected.

Conclusions
Bakers using additives alone or with multigrain are at a high risk of experiencing nasal and asthma-like symptoms.

Plain text: Objectives Wheat flour exposure in bakers can elicit respiratory and skin symptoms. Scarce data are available on the prevalence of such conditions in bakers. We investigated the prevalence of work-related rhinitis, asthma-like symptoms and dermatitis in bakers according to job task and type of allergens involved. Methods Of the 229 traditional bakeries in Verona area who were invited to participate in a cross-sectional survey, 211 (92%) accepted; 727 employees in these bakeries answered a modified version of a questionnaire on job tasks; allergen exposure within the bakery; and work-related nasal, asthma-like and skin symptoms during 2010-2014. Determinants of work-related nasal, asthma-like or skin disorders were separately evaluated using different logistic models. Results The prevalence of work-related nasal and asthma-like symptoms was, respectively, 15.1% and 4.2% in bakery shop assistants, increasing to 25.7% and 9.5% in bakers using only wheat flour, and further to 31.8% and 13.6% in bakers using flour and additives, and then to 34.1% and 18.2% in bakers using flour with additives and multigrain (p<0.001). The risk of work-related asthma-like symptoms was more than doubled in bakers using additives without or with multigrain than in shop assistants (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.0 to 5.5 and OR 3.4, 95% CI 1.1 to 10.8, respectively). Making bread with additives alone or with multigrain significantly increased the risk of work-related nasal symptoms in shop assistants, while the risk of skin symptoms was not significantly affected. Conclusions Bakers using additives alone or with multigrain are at a high risk of experiencing nasal and asthma-like symptoms.

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Comments

questionnaire study only
2/22/2021

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