Medline ® Abstracts for References 2,53,54
of 'Reactive airways dysfunction syndrome and irritant-induced asthma'
Diagnosis and management of work-related asthma: American College Of Chest Physicians Consensus Statement.
Tarlo SM, Balmes J, Balkissoon R, Beach J, Beckett W, Bernstein D, Blanc PD, Brooks SM, Cowl CT, Daroowalla F, Harber P, Lemiere C, Liss GM, Pacheco KA, Redlich CA, Rowe B, Heitzer J
Chest. 2008;134(3 Suppl):1S.
BACKGROUND: A previous American College of Chest Physicians Consensus Statement on asthma in the workplace was published in 1995. The current Consensus Statement updates the previous one based on additional research that has been published since then, including findings relevant to preventive measures and work-exacerbated asthma (WEA).
METHODS: A panel of experts, including allergists, pulmonologists, and occupational medicine physicians, was convened to develop this Consensus Document on the diagnosis and management of work-related asthma (WRA), based in part on a systematic review, that was performed by the University of Alberta/Capital Health Evidence-Based Practice and was supplemented by additional published studies to 2007.
RESULTS: The Consensus Document defined WRA to include occupational asthma (ie, asthma induced by sensitizer or irritant work exposures) and WEA (ie, preexisting or concurrent asthma worsened by work factors). The Consensus Document focuses on the diagnosis and management of WRA (including diagnostic tests, and work and compensation issues), as well as preventive measures. WRA should be considered in all individuals with new-onset or worsening asthma, and a careful occupational history should be obtained. Diagnostic tests such as serial peak flow recordings, methacholine challenge tests, immunologic tests, and specific inhalation challenge tests (if available), can increase diagnostic certainty. Since the prognosis is better with early diagnosis and appropriate intervention, effective preventive measures for other workers with exposure should be addressed.
CONCLUSIONS: The substantial prevalence of WRA supports consideration of the diagnosis in all who present with new-onset or worsening asthma, followed by appropriate investigations and intervention including consideration of other exposed workers.
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada. Electronic address: email@example.com.
Survey of construction workers repeatedly exposed to chlorine over a three to six month period in a pulpmill: I. Exposure and symptomatology.
Courteau JP, Cushman R, Bouchard F, Quévillon M, Chartrand A, Bhérer L
Occup Environ Med. 1994;51(4):219.
OBJECTIVE: The admission to hospital of three construction workers with acute respiratory distress caused by inhalation of chlorine gas prompted the inspection of a building site located in a kraft pulpmill. The accidental emissions had taken place in the bleach plant and the construction workers assigned there were surveyed to uncover possible large scale health effects.
DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS: A questionnaire was presented to 281 workers (participation rate = 97%); 257 workers reported an average of 24 exposure episodes to chlorine and derivatives over a three to six month period. The air monitoring data available from the pulpmill's industrial hygienist were not useful in linking specific events reported by the workers to environmental conditions in the bleach plant.
RESULTS: Over 60% of the workers described a characteristic flu like syndrome that lasted for an average of 11 days and was exacerbated by new bouts of exposure. Irritation of the throat (78%) and eyes (77%), cough (67%), and headache (63%) were the most often reported symptoms. Shortness of breath was reported by 54% of the participants and was not associated with age, smoking state, or history of asthma or chronic bronchitis. First aid self referral was associated with significantly greater reporting of most symptoms, including dyspnoea and cough. A significantly greater proportion of workers in the dyspnoea group had gone at least once for first aid care after a gassing incident (64% as opposed to 48%, p = 0.008). Throat irritation and cough persisted for mean intervals of eight and 11 days respectively. A flu like syndrome lasted for an average of 20 days. Seventy one subjects were considered to be a moderate to high risk of having persisting respiratory symptoms.
CONCLUSION: Throat and eye irritation as well as cough and flu like symptoms are frequent occurrences after repeated accidental inhalation of chlorine. Subjects who consulted first aid care stations after a gassing incident are more likely to have persisting dyspnoea.
Outaouais Community Health Department (DSC), Hull, Quebec, Canada.
Persistent asthma following accidental exposure to formaldehyde.
Vandenplas O, Fievez P, Delwiche JP, Boulanger J, Thimpont J
Service de Pneumologie Cliniques universitaires UCL de Mont-Godinne, B-5530 Yvoir, Belgium. firstname.lastname@example.org