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Polymer-fume fever associated with smoking and use of a mold-release spray containing polytetrafluoroethylene.
J Occup Med 1987 Oct; 29(10):817-819
Three cases of polymer fume fever in a rubber and metal stamp company (SIC-3953) employing five workers were described. All three cases were related to cigarette smoking in conjunction with the use of a mold release spray containing polytetrafluoroethylene (9002840). The ages of the affected workers ranged from 24 to 51 years. All were white males with smoking histories of one to two packs of cigarettes per day. All three men were involved in using a vulcanizer press to transfer a positive image to a phenolic mold board. The mold release spray containing polytetrafluoroethylene was used to aid the release of the rubber sheet from an asbestos free composition board. Repeated flu like symptoms were experienced by all of the subjects. These included nocturnal fever, chills, malaise, backache, nonproductive cough, headache, and fatigue. The symptoms disappeared when the mold release spray was replaced by one that did not contain the polytetrafluoroethylene. The authors conclude that the symptoms have been caused by polytetrafluoroethylene induced polymer fume fever, and they recommend that nonsmoking rules be enforced in areas where fluorocarbon products are used and that adequate exhaust ventilation be employed as close to the vulcanization process as possible.
JOCMA7; NIOSH-Author; Fluorinated-hydrocarbons; Ethylenes; Occupational-exposure; Employee-health; Toxic-effects; Exposure-levels; Respiratory-irritants; Epidemiology; Tobacco-smoke; Case-studies
Issue of Publication
Journal of Occupational Medicine
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division