Elimination of bagassosis in Louisiana paper manufacturing plant workers


Dr S. B. Lehrer, Department of Medicine, Tulane Medical Center, 1700 Perdido Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112, U.S.A.


The prevalence of bagassosis was investigated in a Louisiana paper mill, which in the past had considerable numbers of workers with the disease. Based on negative clinical histories and the low number of positive serological reactions of the workers' serum with Thermoactinomyces sacchari antigen, it was concluded that bagassosis was no longer present. This was thought to be due to a different method of storage of bagasse, which retards microbial decay and reduces airborne organic dust, and to the increased awareness of plant management resulting in greater safety measures.