Allergy to methyltetrahydrophthalic anhydride in epoxy resin workers

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One hundred and forty four current and 26
former workers in a plant producing barrels
for rocket guns from an epoxy resin containing
methyltetrahydrophthalic anhydride
(MTHPA; time weighted average air concentration
up to 150 uglm') were studied. They
showed higher frequencies of work related
symptoms from the eyes (31 v 0%; p < 0-001),
nose (53 v 9%; p < 0-001), pharynx (26 v 6%;
p < 0-01), and asthma (11 v 0%; p < 0 05) than
33 controls. Also they had higher rates of
positive skin prick test to a conjugate of
MTHPA and human serum albumin (16 v 0%;
p < 0-01), and more had specific IgE and IgG
serum antibodies (18 v 0%; p < 0-01 and 12 v
0%; p < 0 05 respectively). There were statistically
significant exposure-response relations
between exposure and symptoms from eyes
and upper airways, dry cough, positive skin
prick test, and specific IgE and IgG antibodies.
There was a non-significant difference in reaction
to metacholine between exposed workers
and non-smoking controls. In workers with
and without specific IgE antibodies, differences
existed in frequency of nasal secretion (54 v
23%; p < 0-05) and dry cough (38 v 12%;
p < 0-05). Workers with specific IgG had more
dry cough (38 v 12%; p < 0-05), but less symptoms
ofnon-specific bronchial hyperreactivity
(0 v 26%; p < 0-05). Atopic workers sneezed
more than non-atopic workers (65 v 30%;
p < 0-01). In a prospective study five sensitised
workers who left the factory became less reactive
to metacholine, and became symptom
free. In 41 workers who stayed, there was no
improvement, despite a 10-fold reduction in
exposure. The results show the extreme sensitising
properties ofMTHPA.


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Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Arbetsterapi
Sidor (från-till)769-775
TidskriftBritish Journal of Industrial Medicine
Utgåva nummer11
StatusPublished - 1992
Peer review utfördJa