Occupational Asthma Reference

Hannu T, Frilander H, Kauppi P, Kuuliala O, Alanko K, IgE-Mediated Occupational Asthma from Epoxy Resin, Int Arch Allergy Immunol, 2008;148(1):41-44,


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Timo Hannu, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health Timo Hannu

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Epoxy resins (ERs) are used in paints and other protective coatings, including flooring materials. Bisphenol A diglycidyl ether (BADGE) ERs (BADGE ERs) account for about 75% of the ERs used world-wide. ERs can cause both immediate and delayed allergic reactions, but immediate reactions are rare.

Occupational asthma (OA) was diagnosed on the basis of a specific challenge test combined with the patient's history of occupational exposure and respiratory symptoms.

A 39-year-old nonsmoking construction worker experienced dyspnea when laying ER-containing floors, but not in other situations. He also presented skin symptoms. IgE-mediated allergy to BADGE ER could be verified with both serum IgE antibodies and skin prick tests. The specific bronchial challenge test with BADGE ER caused an immediate asthmatic reaction. On patch testing, a positive reaction was provoked by BADGE ER.

This is the first study on a patient exposed to BADGE ER with IgE-mediated immediate OA, based on a positive inhalation challenge test. If work-related respiratory symptoms develop when handling ERs, the possibility of OA should be recognized.

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