Occupational Asthma Reference

Karvala K, Toskala E, Luukkonen R, Lappalainen S, Uitti J, Nordman H, New-onset adult asthma in relation to damp and moldy workplaces, Int Arch Occup Environ Health, 2010;83:855-865,https://doi.org/10.1007/s00420-010-0507-5

Keywords: occupational asth,a, mould, damp, finland, ep

Known Authors

Henrik Nordman, Finnsh Institute of Occupational Health Henrik Nordman

If you would like to become a known author and have your picture displayed along with your papers then please get in touch from the contact page. Known authors can choose to receive emails when their papers receive comments.


Damp and moldy indoor environments aggravate pre-existing asthma. Recent meta-analyses suggest that exposure to such environments may also induce new-onset asthma. We assessed the probability of molds being the cause of asthma in a patient series examined because of respiratory symptoms in relation to workplace dampness and molds.

Altogether 694 such patients had been clinically assessed between 1995 and 2004. According to their histories, they had all been exposed to molds at work and had suffered from work-related lower respiratory symptoms. The investigations had included specific inhalation challenge (SIC) tests with mold extracts and serial peak expiratory flow (PEF) recordings. Using internationally recommended diagnostic criteria for occupational asthma (OA), we categorized the patients into three groups: probable, possible, and unlikely OA (156, 45, and 475 patients, respectively). The clinical details of 258 patients were analyzed, and their levels of microbial exposure were evaluated.

The agreement between the serial PEF recordings and SIC tests (both being either positive or negative) was 56%. In the group of probable OA, mold sensitization was found in 20%. The level of exposure and sensitization to molds was associated with probable OA. At 6 months, the follow-up examinations of 136 patients with probable OA showed that the symptoms were persistent, and no improvement in spirometry was noted despite adequate treatment. Only 58% of the patients had returned to work.

Exposure to damp and moldy workplaces can induce new-onset adult asthma. IgE mediation is a rare mechanism, whereas other mechanisms are unknown.

Full Text

Full text of this reference not available

Please Log In or Register to add the full text to this reference


Please sign in or register to add your thoughts.

Oasys and occupational asthma smoke logo