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Exposure to flour dust and sensitization among bakery employees.

Authors
Page-EH; Dowell-CH; Mueller-CA; Biagini-RE; Heederik-D
Source
Am J Ind Med 2010 Dec; 53(12):1225-1232
NIOSHTIC No.
20037690
Abstract
Background: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health conducted a study to determine prevalences of sensitization to bakery-associated antigens (BAAs) and work-related respiratory symptoms at a large commercial bakery. Methods:The following measurements were carried out: personal breathing zone (PBZ) and general area (GA) monitoring for inhalable flour dust, alpha-amylase and wheat, a questionnaire, and blood tests for IgE specific to flour dust, wheat, alpha-amylase, and common aeroallergens. Results: Of 186 bakery employees present during our site visit, 161completed the questionnaire and 96 allowed their blood to be drawn. The geometric mean PBZ and GA inhalable flour dust concentrations for the lower-exposure group was 0.235 mg/m3, and for the higher-exposure group was 3.01 mg/m3. Employees in the higher-exposure group had significantly higher prevalences of work-related wheezing, runny nose, stuffy nose, and frequent sneezing than the lower-exposure group. The prevalence of IgE specific to wheat was significantly higher among employees who ever had a job in the higher-exposure group or in production at another bakery at both the >/= 0.10 kU/L and the >/= 0.35 kU/L cutoffs, and to flour dust and alpha-amylase at the >/= 0.10 kU/L cutoff, compared to the lower-exposure group. Conclusions: Despite knowledge of the risks of exposure to flour being available for centuries, U.S. employees are still at risk of sensitization and respiratory symptoms from exposure to high levels of BAA.
Keywords
Antigens; Sensitization; Bakery-workers; Respiratory-system-disorders; Breathing-zone; Sampling; Food-handlers; Food-processing-workers; Foodstuff; Allergens; Questionnaires; Blood-tests; Dust-exposure; Dust-sampling; Dusts; Risk-analysis; Bronchial-asthma; Author Keywords: flour; alpha-amylase; wheat; asthma; rash; respiratory; bakers; sensitization
Contact
Elena H. Page, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Mailstop R-10, Cincinnati, OH 45226
CODEN
AJIMD8
Publication Date
20101201
Document Type
Journal Article
Fiscal Year
2011
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Issue of Publication
12
ISSN
0271-3586
NIOSH Division
DSHEFS; DART
Priority Area
Services; Healthcare and Social Assistance; Manufacturing
Source Name
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
State
OH
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