Occupational Asthma Reference

Cartier A, Lehrer SB, Horth-Susin L, Swanson M, Neis B, Howse D, Jong M, Prevalence of crab asthma in crab plant workers in newfoundland and labrador, Int J Circumpolar Health, 2004;63 pt2:333-6,

Keywords: peak flows, occupational asthma, crab

Known Authors

André Cartier, Hôpital de Sacré Coeur, Montreal, Quebec, Canada André Cartier

Mark Swanson, Mark Swanson

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OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of snow crab sensitisation and occupational asthma. STUDY DESIGN: Prevalence study of symptoms, pulmonary function testing and allergy testing to crab was conducted in four crab plants of different design in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. METHODS: Plants workers in four crab plants were interviewed and offered skin testing, RAST, pulmonary function testing and peak flow monitoring before and during crab processing. RESULTS: 38% (n=78) had atopy. 18% (n=39) had certain or highly probable crab asthma. The prevalence of sensitisation in different crab plants varied from 50% (n=19) to 15% (n=16) and the prevalence of certain or highly probable crab asthma varied from 50% (n=19) to 9% (n=3). CONCLUSION: Crab asthma and sensitisation to snow crab is a major health problem for snow crab plant workers in Newfoundland and Labrador.

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