Occupational Asthma Reference

Merget R, Sander I, van Kampen V, Raulf-Heimsoth M, Ulmer H, Kulzer R, Bruening T, Occupational immediate-type asthma and rhinitis due to rhodium salts, Am J Ind Med, 2010;53:42-46,

Keywords: new cause, germany, rhodium, electroplater, rhinitis, occupational asthma, case report, skin prick test, challenge, platinum

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Rolf Merget, Bochum Rolf Merget

Monika Raulf-Heimsoth, Bochum Monika Raulf-Heimsoth

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Whereas platinum salts are well known occupational allergens, rhodium salts have not been identified as inhalative sensitizing substances.

A 27-year-old atopic operator of an electroplating plant developed work-related shortness of breath and runny nose with sneezing after exposure to rhodium salts. Quantitative skin prick tests (SPT) and bronchial challenge tests with a dosimeter protocol were performed with quadrupling doses of the sodium chloride salts of rhodium (Na3RhCl6) and platinum (Na2PtCl6).

The patient showed positive SPT reactions and positive bronchial immediate-type reactions with rhodium and platinum salts. Sensitivity to rhodium salt was much higher than to platinum salt; the molar concentrations differed by a factor of 256 in SPT and a factor of 16 in bronchial challenges.

Rhodium salts should be considered as occupational immediate-type allergens.

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