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AIMS: To explore relations between exposure to fungal alpha-amylase and the risk of new work related respiratory symptoms or sensitisation. METHODS: A prospective cohort study among 300 bakers and millers was followed up for a maximum of seven years. Exposure to alpha-amylase was estimated by air measurements and questionnaires and classified into three categories. Symptoms were recorded with a self-administered questionnaire and skin sensitisation assessed using skin prick test (SPT). RESULTS: There were 36 new cases of chest symptoms, 86 of eyes/nose symptoms, and 24 of a positive SPT to alpha-amylase. There were exposure-response relations for chest and eyes/nose symptoms and for sensitisation, and a significantly increased prevalence ratio for chest symptoms in the highest exposure category. CONCLUSION: A reduction in alpha-amylase exposure is likely to reduce the risk for respiratory morbidity in bakery workers.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Occup Environ Med

Publication Date

06/2004

Volume

61

Pages

551 - 553

Keywords

Cohort Studies, Dust, Flour, Food-Processing Industry, Humans, Hypersensitivity, Immediate, Occupational Diseases, Occupational Exposure, Prospective Studies, Respiratory Hypersensitivity, Skin Tests, alpha-Amylases