We performed a cross-sectional study to detect occupational asthma (OA) in 63 subjects occupationally exposed to herbal and fruit tea dust and in 63 corresponding controls. The evaluation included a questionnaire, skin prick tests to workplace and common inhalant allergens, spirometry, and histamine challenge test. The evaluation of the work-relatedness of asthma in the exposed workers was based on serial peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) measurements and bronchoprovocation tests. We found a higher prevalence of respiratory symptoms in the exposed workers, whereas spirometric parameters were significantly lower. The prevalence of sensitisation to allergens and of bronchial hyperresponsivenss (BHR) did not differ significantly between the groups. The prevalence of asthma was also similar in both groups (8.0 % vs. 6.4 %; P=0.540). Work-relatedness of symptoms was reported by all asthmatic tea workers and by no control with asthma. Significant work-related changes in PEFR diurnal variations and in non-specific BHR, suggesting allergic OA, were found in one tea worker with asthma (1.6 %). No specific workplace agent causing OA in the affected subject was identified. None of the tea workers with asthma met the criteria for medical case definition of the reactive airway dysfunction syndrome (RADS). Our data confirm workplace exposure to herbal and fruit tea dust as a risk factor for OA.

Inglés, Slovenian
Calendario de la edición:
4 veces al año
Temas de la revista:
Medicine, Basic Medical Science, other