Occupational Asthma Reference

Sauni R, Kauppi P, Alanko K, Henriks-Eckerman ML, Tuppurainen M, Hannu T, Occupational asthma caused by sculptured nails containing methacrylates, Am J Ind Med, 2008;51:968-974,


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Timo Hannu, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health Timo Hannu

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In recent decades, the use of artificial nails including methacrylates (MAs) has increased. This study presents the first two clinical cases of occupational asthma (OA) caused by sculptured nails containing MAs.

In both cases, OA was diagnosed on the basis of a work simulation test combined with the patient's history of occupational exposure and respiratory symptoms.

Both patients developed work-related respiratory symptoms 4-5 years before the current examinations. Previously, the first patient (a 30-year-old female) was diagnosed as having allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) to MAs; the second patient (a 27-year-old female) had no skin symptoms. In both cases, a dual asthmatic reaction was observed in the bronchial provocation test, in which the patients simulated their work using their own products including MAs.

Sculptured nails containing MAs can induce OA in nail technicians. Products not containing MAs should be used to prevent OA and ACD. If MAs are used, they should be handled with appropriate safety measures.

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