Occupational Asthma Reference

Suojalehto H, Linström I, Henriks-Eckerman M, Jungewelter S, Suuronen K, Occupational asthma related to low levels of airborne methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) in orthopedic casting work, Am J Ind Med, 2011;54:906-910,
(Plain text: Suojalehto H, Linstrom I, Henriks-Eckerman M, Jungewelter S, Suuronen K, Occupational asthma related to low levels of airborne methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) in orthopedic casting work, Am J Ind Med)

Keywords: occupational asthma;isocyanates;methylene diphenyl diisocyanate;MDI;plaster casts;specific inhalation challenge test;specific bronchial provocation test, air measurement

Known Authors

Hille Suojalehto, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health Hille Suojalehto

Irmeli Lindstrom, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health Irmeli Lindstrom

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Abstract

Orthopedic plaster casts contain methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI). A few case reports have suggested occupational asthma to MDI in casting work. However, the knowledge of the exposure levels related to the occupational asthma cases is lacking.

We report on two occupational asthma cases due to MDI in nurses irregularly applying orthopedic plaster casts, verified with placebo controlled specific inhalation challenge. The levels of MDI in the air were measured in the exposure chamber during the specific inhalation challenges with a quantitative method including filter collection and subsequent liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) analysis of the isocyanate groups. In order to estimate the level of airborne MDI in casting work, measurements were conducted also in two hospitals during the application and removal of synthetic plaster casts using the same method. The concentrations were well below the occupational exposure limit in both specific inhalation challenge and hospital measurements.

Based on our findings, even minor exposure to airborne MDI in casting work can cause an asthmatic reaction in some patients.

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