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J Occup Med. 1990 Jul;32(7):625-30.

Evaluation of flu-like symptoms in workers handling xanthan gum powder.

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  • 1Corporate Safety and Industrial Hygiene Department, Merck and Co, Inc, Rahway, NJ 07065-0900.


A study was performed to determine the relationship between the handling of xanthan gum powder and reported symptoms. Nose and throat irritation was the most prevalent symptom, and the group with the greatest exposure reported the highest prevalence of nose and throat irritation as well as work-related illness. Employees who reported illness as a result of exposure to materials at work did not show a decrease in pulmonary function over the first day of the workday or workweek. There was no evidence of chronic loss of pulmonary function in employees with either the highest or longest exposure.

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