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Summary

In sixty-three workers exposed to toluene di-isocyanate (TDI), no overall differences in bronchial reactivity to histamine inhalation and to exercise testing were found between the total groups of positive and negative TDI reactors to provocation tests. A subgroup of TDI highly sensitive subjects reacting to very low concentrations (≤0.001 p.p.m.) were more sensitive to both histamine and exercise than the group who were less sensitive to TDI, and who reacted to higher concentrations (0.002–0.02 p.p.m.) than the group of non-reactors. There were, however, in the last group a number of subjects with high degrees of histamine reactivity who did not react to the TDI. These findings suggest that, on the one hand, the asthmatic reactions to TDI cannot be attributed solely to non-specific mechanisms and, on the other, that in subjects with high degrees of specific sensitivity non-specific mechanisms may also be playing a part.