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Meat wrapper's asthma: identification of the causal agent


Dr G. Pauli, Chest Diseases Institute, CHU—67000 Strasbourg, France.


Meat wrapper's asthma is a typical example of occupational asthma due to emissions from chemical products. The authors report three new cases due to the use of the now classic meat packaging techniques in supermarkets. The chemical agents involved were identified. Inhalation tests have been carried out in one patient with the complete wrappings, i.e. the PVC film and the price labels, and separate tests were performed with eight additives of the PVC film, and with phthalic anhydride and di-cyclohexyl-phthalate emitted from heated price labels. These tests incriminate two products: phthalic anhydride seems to be the principal causal agent and epoxidized soybean oil can be suspected as a secondary agent causing this occupational asthma.

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