Occupational Asthma Reference

Burton C, Bradshaw L, Agius R, Burge S, Huggins V, Fishwick D, Medium-density fibreboard and occupational asthma. A case series, Occup Med, 2011;61:357-363,

Keywords: MDF, Medium density fibreboard, occupational asthma, challenge, wood, peak flow, Oasys, SWORD,

Known Authors

David Fishwick, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, UK David Fishwick

Sherwood Burge, Oasys Sherwood Burge

Vicky Moore, Oasys Vicky Moore

Lisa Bradshaw, Health and Safety Laboratories Lisa Bradshaw

Raymond Agius, Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health, Manchester University Raymond Agius

Clare Burton, Sheffield University and HSL Buxton Clare Burton

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Medium-density fibreboard (MDF) is a wood composite material, composed primarily of softwood, bonded with a synthetic formaldehyde-based resin. It is increasingly used, as it has various advantages over natural woods.

Enquiry of the national reporting scheme data and three case reports were used to further the evidence base linking this exposure to occupational asthma (OA).

From 1991 to 2007, 21 cases of occupational sensitization to MDF were reported to the UK voluntary reporting scheme, Surveillance of Work Related Occupational Respiratory Disease (SWORD): 18 reported as occupational asthma (OA) and 3 as occupational rhinitis. All workers were male, with a mean age of 48 years, working in education, furniture manufacturing or joinery among other employments.

Whilst reporting scheme data identified relatively small numbers of cases of OA likely to be due to MDF, the evidence base supporting this link is generally lacking. The three cases presented, where OA was attributed to MDF exposure, add to this evidence

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