Occupational Asthma Reference

Kongerud J, Boe J, Soyseth V, Naalsund A, Magnus P, Aluminium potroom asthma: the Norwegian experience, Eur Respir J, 1994;7:165-172,

Keywords: oa, aluminium, potroom, prevalence, general population, fluoride, peak flow, methacholine, review, asthma

Known Authors

Johny Kongerud, Rikshospitalet, Oslo University, Norway Johny Kongerud

V Soyseth, Hydro Aluminium Aardal, Norway V Soyseth

Jacob Boe, Bergen Jacob Boe

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Work-related asthma in aluminium potroom workers, is reviewed and discussed, mainly on the basis of own investigations. The occurrence of work-related asthma has been shown to be associated with the duration of potroom employment, although the prevalence of asthmatic symptoms is not significantly different from that of the general population. Typical manifestations of occupational asthma are described in potroom workers, and a close relationship between the levels of fluoride exposure and work-related asthmatic symptoms has been observed. The existence of occupational asthma in aluminium potroom workers has been confirmed by characteristic patterns of repeated peak flow measurements, supported by changes in methacholine responsiveness in workers with suspected work-related asthma. However, no immunological test is available to establish the diagnosis. Methacholine challenge appears to be inappropriate for screening aluminium potroom workers in order to detect work-related asthma. Current smoking, but not self-reported allergy, is a risk factor for potroom asthma. A family history of asthma and previous occupational exposure may have some effect on the risk of developing symptoms. The prognosis of potroom asthma seems to depend on early replacement to unexposed work. The pathogenetic mechanisms are unknown, although some studies indirectly imply a hypersensitivity reaction. Future studies involving specific bronchial challenge appear to be necessary to find the causal agent(s) of aluminium potroom asthma. [References: 60]

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