Asthma due to inhaled chemical agents—epoxy resin systems containing phthalic acid anhydride, trimellitic acid anhydride and triethylene tetramine

Authors

  • I. W. FAWCETT,

    1. Department of Clinical Immunology, Cardiothoracic Institute, Brompton Hospital, National Heart and Chest Hospitals, Fulham Road, London SW3 6HP
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  • A. J. NEWMAN TAYLOR,

    1. Department of Clinical Immunology, Cardiothoracic Institute, Brompton Hospital, National Heart and Chest Hospitals, Fulham Road, London SW3 6HP
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  • J. PEPYS

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Clinical Immunology, Cardiothoracic Institute, Brompton Hospital, National Heart and Chest Hospitals, Fulham Road, London SW3 6HP
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Professor J. Pepys, Brompton Hospital, London SW3 6HP.

Summary

Six workers with a diagnosis of occupational asthma and one with chronic bronchitis were examined for sensitivity to epoxy resin systems and certain of their components. In six cases the chemical agent responsible for their symptoms was identified by careful inhalation challenge testing, simulating their exposure at work and thus providing a precise aetiological diagnosis. In one worker asthma followed exposure to triethylene tetramine fume; four were sensitive to acid anhydrides, three to phthalic acid anhydride as a fume or powder and one to trimellitic anhydride. One worker thought to be sensitive to toluene di-isocyanate gave negative reactions to this and positive reactions to a phthalic acid anhydride epoxy resin and another thought to have asthma from acid anhydride fumes was found to be sensitive only to toluene di-isocyanate. Immediate, non-immediate or combined asthmatic reactions were elicited.

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