Venables KM, Upton JL, Hawkins ER et al, Smoking, atopy, and laboratory animal allergy, Br J Ind Med, 1988;45:667-671,

BOHRF Original Authors' Main Conclusions

The original authors' main conclusions are taken from Abstract, Results and Discussion. They are decided upon by the authors of the BOHRF occupational asthma guidelines and form part of the guidelines.

Survey was carried out on workers exposed to laboratory animals. 44% had symptoms in a self-completed questionnaire that were consistent with laboratory animal allergy (LAA) of whom 11% had chest symptoms. LAA chest symptoms were almost 5 times more common in atopic than non-atopic subjects. As atopy is common in the general population it is difficult to justify excluding atopic subjects from employment with animals, but atopic subjects who develop positive skin tests to animal allergens may be at particular risk of chest symptoms and could be identified during employment and advised on risk. Regular screening at least provides useful information on the scale of the LAA within an organisation and in conjunction with occupational histories may point to particular working areas or practices that should be modified. There was a suggestion in these results of an association between LAA chest symptoms and current smoking.

BOHRF Associated Evidence Statements

The BOHRF occupational asthma guidelines state that this reference is associated with the following evidence statements

* 3 The positive predictive values of screening criteria are too poorly discriminating for screening out potentially susceptible individuals, particularly in the case of atopy where the trait is highly prevalent.

Non Bohrf Information

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