Occupational Asthma Reference

Nemery B, Lenaerts L, Exposure to methylene diphenyl diisocyanate in coal mines [letter], Lancet, 1993;341:318-318,

Keywords: oa, MDI, mine, isocyanate

Known Authors

Ben Nemery, Leuven, Belgium Ben Nemery

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The authors report an important application of (MDI) that does not seem to be widely known. The authors have been involved in a compensation dispute concerning a surface worker from a coal mine. This atopic patient had claimed compensation from the Belgian Fund for Occupational Diseases for bronchial asthma which his physician had regarded as occupational, essentially on the basis of a convincing temporal relation between the disease and periods of work. The claim was rejected, because no substantial exposure to a known asthma-causing agent has been identified. At the time of appeal, the patient has quit his work at the coal mine for 2 years. He gave a list of the products that he had frequently loaded on wagons for transportation underground. The source of exposure for the patient, was probably the handling of half-empty and leaking MDI drums coming back from the mine. No precautions seemed to have been taken and the worker's description, corroborated by others, suggested that exposure was at times considerable. On the basis of this information the occupational nature of the patient`s asthma was accepted.

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