Occupational Asthma Reference

Laustsen BH, Omland Ø, Würtz ET, Sigsgaard T, Ebbehøj NE, Carstensen O, Rasmussen K, Kamath SD, Lopata AL, Bønløkke JH, Rhino Conjunctivitis and Asthma Among Seafood Processing Workers in Greenland. A Cross-Sectional Study, Front.Allergy, 2021;2:747011,https://doi.org/10.3389/falgy.2021.747011
(Plain text: Laustsen BH, Omland O, Wurtz ET, Sigsgaard T, Ebbehoj NE, Carstensen O, Rasmussen K, Kamath SD, Lopata AL, Bonlokke JH, Rhino Conjunctivitis and Asthma Among Seafood Processing Workers in Greenland. A Cross-Sectional Study, Front.Allergy)

Keywords: Anisakis Simplex, parasite, snow crab, shrimp, Greenland, spt, IgE, oa, or, fish,

Known Authors

Torben Sigsgaard, University of Aarhus Torben Sigsgaard

Oyvind Omland, Aahus Denmark Oyvind Omland

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Abstract

Introduction: The fishing- and the seafood processing industries are the largest industrial sectors in Greenland. Despite this, only a few cases of occupational diseases in this industry have been reported to the Danish Labor Market Insurance. Occupational asthma and allergy are well-known occupational diseases in the seafood processing industry worldwide and underreporting of occupational diseases in Greenland is suspected.

Objective: The aim of the current study was to examine the associations between job exposures and occupational asthma and rhino conjunctivitis in workers in the Greenlandic seafood processing industry and to compare the prevalence of sensitization by type and degree of exposure to snow crab, shrimp, fish, and the fish parasite, Anisakis simplex.

Methods: Data from 382 Greenlandic seafood processing workers were collected during 2016-2018. Data included questionnaire answers, lung function measurements, skin prick tests, and blood samples with ImmunoCAP. For all analyses, p < 0.05 was considered the level of significance.

Results: 5.5% of the workers had occupational asthma and 4.6% had occupational rhino conjunctivitis. A large proportion of the workers were sensitized to allergens specific to the workplace; 18.1% to snow crab, 13.6% to shrimp, 1.4% to fish, and 32.6% to the fish parasite, A. simplex. We found a dose-response relationship between the risk of being sensitized to snow crab and A. simplex and years of exposure to the allergens in the seafood processing industry.

Conclusion: This study showed that a considerable proportion of workers in the Greenlandic seafood processing industry had occupational asthma and rhino conjunctivitis. Additionally, the study showed high sensitization levels toward snow crab, shrimp, and the fish parasite, A. simplex. This supports the hypothesis of a considerable degree of underreporting of occupational allergic airway disease in the Greenlandic seafood processing industry. Prospectively, it is important to inform workers, leaders, and health care professionals of the health problems and the law on worker's compensation, and to initiate preventive actions at factory and trawler level.

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