Occupational Asthma Reference

Lemiere C, Cloutier Y, Perrault G, Drolet D, Cartier A, Malo JL, Closed-circuit apparatus for specific inhalation challenges with an occupational agent, formaldehyde, in vapor form, Chest, 1996;109:1631-1635,

Keywords: ch, Quebec, Canada, formaldehyde, methods, isocyanate, alveolitis

Known Authors

André Cartier, Hôpital de Sacré Coeur, Montreal, Quebec, Canada André Cartier

Jean-Luc Malo, Hôpital de Sacré Coeur, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Jean-Luc Malo

Catherine Lemière, Hôpital de Sacré Coeur, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Catherine Lemière

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Specific inhalation challenges are an important tool for confirming occupational asthma. In recent years, we have described two closed-circuit apparatuses that allow exposure to stable and controlled concentrations of particles and isocyanate gases. More recently, we developed a similar apparatus that generates chemicals in vapor form. The aim of this work is to describe its performance in the specific case of formaldehyde. This instrument is made of four parts: a generator as such, an exposure chamber, a monitor, and an automated regulatory system. This apparatus was assessed in four subjects suspected of having formaldehyde-induced asthma or alveolitis. The concentrations of formaldehyde were increased from 0.5 to 1 mg/m3 to 3 mg/m3 keeping the concentration at a value of 3 mg/m3 or less (threshold limit value). The dispersion of obtained values by comparison with the median data (6 values) was as follows: maximum value, 12 to 84%; minimum value, 20 to 58%; interquartile range, 0.13 to 0.9 mg/m3. We observed that target concentrations took a few minutes to be reached, but, once they were obtained, delivered concentrations were stable. The new vapor-delivery apparatus allows us to obtain concentrations of formaldehyde that are close to target concentrations with an acceptable dispersion of values around target concentration. Its use should be extended to other chemicals besides formaldehyde

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