Occupational Asthma Reference

Torén K, Asthma and methacrylates – gluing together the evidence, Allergy, 2007;62:575-576,
(Plain text: Toren K, Asthma and methacrylates - gluing together the evidence, Allergy)

Keywords: review

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Kjell Toren, Sahlgrenska University Hospital. Goteborg Kjell Toren

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Acrylates are a group of reactive compounds frequently handled in many different occupations. They cure rapidly without separate addition of hardener; polymerization is catalyzed by light, heat, or oxygen. There are two important groups of acrylates, methacrylates, and cyanoacrylates; both are used as glues. Exposure to cyanoacrylates has been linked to asthma in several case reports and one epidemiological study (1-4). Methacrylates are also used as plastic filling material leading to exposure among dental and surgical personnel and workers in different biotechnical and pharmaceutical industries. In Scandinavia, work with methacrylates has been common among dental personnel for some decades now. The use of composite resin materials for dental restoration has increased because of the replacement of mercury based materials, such as amalgam. Although these newer plastic fillings (composite resins) are made from different varieties of less volatile methacrylates, the bondings consist of more volatile acrylates, such as 2-hydroxyethyl-metahcrylate (HEMA) and triethylene glycol dimethacrylate (TEGDMA). Studies conducted in Finland and Sweden to measure exposure to HEMA among dental nurses have shown rather low median levels, around 3 lg/m3 (5, 6). However, higher levels were found when working around the patient's mouth, during mixing of the components and when removing old fillings.

The highest short-term concentrations of HEMA were 68 lg/m3 in the Finnish study (5) and 20 lg/m3 in the Swedish study (6). The only European Union country which has an occupational exposure limit for HEMA is the Netherlands, where the limit is 270 lg/m3, for 8 h work.

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I have had exercised induced asthma for several years. I was diagnosed in 1998. I have been the Denture Technician since 2000. My asthma has worsened in the last few years and I was recently diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension likely tied with my asthma. One of the dentist I work with mentioned his father had Pulmonary Hypertension and COPD. I feel there might be a connection with my asthma getting worse and I am trying to find some information. Can anyone help me?

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