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Chest. 2002 Apr;121(4):1317-22.

Effect of respiratory protective devices on development of antibody and occupational asthma to an acid anhydride.

Author information

1
Division of Allergy-Immunology and the Ernest S. Bazley Asthma and Allergic Diseases Center, Department of Medicine of Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University, Chicago 60611, USA. l-grammer@northwestern.edu

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVES:

To determine whether the use of respiratory protective equipment would reduce the incidence of occupational asthma due to exposure to hexahydrophthalic anhydride (HHPA).

DESIGN:

Prospective cohort study.

SETTING:

A facility that makes an epoxy resin product requiring HHPA for its manufacture.

PARTICIPANTS:

Sixty-six individuals newly hired at a facility that makes an epoxy resin product requiring HHPA for its manufacture.

INTERVENTION:

Employees who wished to use respiratory protective equipment could choose from three types of masks: dust mask, half-face organic vapor respirator, or full-face organic vapor respirator.

MEASUREMENTS:

Workers were evaluated annually for development of positive antibody to HHPA and occupational, immunologic respiratory disease, including occupational asthma.

RESULTS:

With use of respiratory protective equipment, the rate of developing an occupational immunologic respiratory disease was reduced from approximately 10 to 2% per year. Occupational asthma developed in only three individuals, and they were all in the higher exposure category. Statistically, one respirator was not superior to the others.

CONCLUSION:

Respiratory protective equipment can reduce the incidence of occupational immunologic respiratory disease, including occupational asthma, in employees exposed to HHPA.

PMID:
11948068
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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