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A survey was carried out of a population of workers exposed to tetrachlorophthalic anhydride, an acid anhydride epoxy resin curing agent known to cause asthma. Using a radioallergosorbent test with a tetrachlorophthalic anhydride human serum albumin conjugate, specific IgE antibody was detected in serum from 24 out of 300 factory floor workers exposed to tetrachlorophthalic anhydride. Of these 24, 20 (83.3%) were current smokers compared with 133 (48.2%) of 276 without antibody (p less than 0.01), and there was a weaker association with atopy, defined by skin tests with common allergens. Smoking and atopy interacted, the prevalence of antibody being 16.1% in atopic smokers, 11.7% in non-atopic smokers, 8.3% in atopic non-smokers, and nil in non-atopic non-smokers (p less than 0.025). Smoking may predispose to, and interact with atopy in, the production of specific IgE antibody to this hapten protein conjugate.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed)

Publication Date

19/01/1985

Volume

290

Pages

201 - 204

Keywords

Adult, Antibodies, Electronics, Female, Haptens, Humans, Hypersensitivity, Immediate, Immunoglobulin E, Male, Occupational Diseases, Phthalic Acids, Phthalic Anhydrides, Serum Albumin, Skin Tests, Smoking