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J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2019 Jan;7(1):191-198. doi: 10.1016/j.jaip.2018.07.023. Epub 2018 Aug 1.

Occupational Asthma From Epoxy Compounds.

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Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland. Electronic address:
Fundación Jiménez Díaz, Department of Allergy, Department of Medicine, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, CIBERES, Instituto Carlos III, Madrid, Spain.
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland.



Two-component epoxy resin systems (ERSs) composed of epoxy resin and polyamine hardeners are extensively used in industrial and construction coating. Triglycidyl isocyanurate (TGIC) is another type of epoxy derivative, mostly encountered in polyester powder paints. Epoxy compounds are well-known skin sensitizers, but their respiratory-sensitizing potential is largely unknown.


To report patients examined for occupational asthma (OA) from epoxy compounds.


We retrospectively reviewed patient files of cases tested with a placebo-controlled specific inhalation challenge (SIC) according to their workplace exposure-either by mixing epoxy resin and the polyamine hardener of a 2-component paint or by dusting or heating TGIC-containing powder paint. The data were collected from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland, and at Fundación Jiménez Díaz Hospital, Madrid, Spain, during 1997 to 2018. We also measured airborne polyamine and solvent vapors at the workplace and during SIC with ERSs.


Altogether 113 patients with work-related asthma symptoms underwent SIC with ERSs. Fifteen cases (13%) had positive SIC reactions confirming OA; in 12 cases reactions were late-type, in 1 case early, and in 2 cases combined. The median duration of exposure for patients with OA was 10 years; 2 of them (13%) had a diagnosis of allergic contact dermatitis from ERS compounds. In addition, 3 cases had a positive SIC reaction to TGIC. The airborne polyamine levels measured were low.


ERSs and TGIC can cause sensitizer-induced OA in some exposed workers. Respiratory exposure to ERSs is difficult to demonstrate using air measurements.


CAS 2451-62-9; CAS 25068-38-6; CAS 9003-36-5; Chemical; Coating; Hardener; Painter; Polyamine; Sensitizer; Triglycidyl isocyanurate


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