Environmental and occupational asthma: exposure assessment.
Chest 1990 Nov; 98(5):209-211
Assessing exposure to environmental and occupational allergens was discussed. Three major reasons for measuring airborne allergen levels both in the general environment and at work were presented. These reasons are to examine variability in allergen exposure and its determinants; to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions, particularly in the workplace, aimed at reducing allergen exposure; and to examine exposure/response relationships in allergic lung disease. Methods for measurement of allergens in air include counting morphologically identifiable particles; culturing bacteria and fungi; and assaying chemicals such as isocyanates and acid anhydrides. Three important steps in measuring the concentration of dust particles in the air are: sampling of a known volume of air and retaining the airborne particles on the filter sheet; extracting the soluble allergens from the filter sheet; and assaying the amount of retained allergen by immunoassay. Two types of immunoassay have been used: inhibition assays (RAST and ELISA) and direct immunoassays. The application of these methods is described.
NIOSH-Publication; Respiratory-system-disorders; Allergic-reactions; Analytical-methods; Immunological-tests; Air-quality-monitoring; Air-sampling; Workplace-studies; Environmental-contamination