Occupational Asthma Reference

Cullinan P, Harris JM, NewmanTaylor AJ et al, An Outbreak Of Asthma In A Modern Detergent Factory, Lancet, 2000;356:1899-1900,

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Paul Cullinan, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK Paul Cullinan

Jessica Harris, Royal Brompton Hospital Jessica Harris

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Abstract

The striking decrease in the occurrence of protease-induced occupational asthma in the detergent Industry has been attributed to enzyme encapsulation. We report an outbreak of asthma, at least equal in size to those reported in the 1960s, in a modem European factory which has exclusively used encapsulated enzymes. A survey revealed that enzyme sensitisation and work-related respiratory symptoms were positively correlated with airborne enzyme exposure. We suggest that encapsulation alone is insufficient to prevent enzyme-Induced allergy and asthma.

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