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Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2011 Dec;24(4):409-13. doi: 10.2478/s13382-011-0038-7. Epub 2011 Oct 14.

Toxic alveolitis after inhalation of a water repellent.

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Department of Respiratory Medicine, Medisch Spectrum Twente Hospitals, Enschede, The Netherlands.


Inhalation of fluorocarbon polymers can cause pulmonary toxicity. Although multiple cases of lung injury have been reported, cellular characterization of the associated alveolitis occurring acutely after inhalation is limited. We report the case of a previously healthy woman who presented at our Emergency Department with an acute pneumonitis following inhalation of a fluorocarbon polymer-based rain-proofing spray. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) performed shortly after the presentation showed an elevated total cell count, with a high proportion of neutrophils (58%) and eosinophils (9%). In addition, a lipid stain (Oil-Red-O-stain) showed a high level of lipid laden macrophages, a marker that could reflect a direct toxic effect of the spray on alveolar cells. The patient made a full recovery after four days of in-hospital observation with supportive care.

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