Bakers’ asthma


Dr D. J. Hendrick, Chest Department, Churchill Hospital, Oxford.


Bronchial provocation tests by ‘occupational’ exposure to flour provoked dual asthmatic reactions accompanied by rhinitis in two atopic bakers engaged in the manufacture of bread and pies. Ingestion tests with uncooked flour produced no reactions.

Skin prick tests with aqueous extracts of flour produced positive immediate reactions in both bakers, and negative reactions in nine of ten atopic asthmatic control subjects with no occupational exposure to flour. Intracutaneous tests, performed in one precipitin negative baker, gave dual responses. Precipitating antibodies to an aqueous extract of flour were found in the unconcentrated serum of the other baker, and not in ten control subjects.